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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2012
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    6

    Default Cardio-type exercise literally scares me

    I have/had a heart defect, and when my heart rate increases it stresses me out and causes great anxiety. I probably already had an anxiety disorder/or was prone to it as it seems to be familial (and "fixed" with an SSRI).

    A little bit of background: When I was 18 I was diagnosed with Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia. What would happen is: I would randomly and suddenly have a palpitation and my heart rate would jump to 235 (no joke) and would not slow down until I went to the ER to receive intravenous medicine. I've had an ablation, but have not been able to control my rate without a beta blocker since (that was 12 years ago).

    Ever since then I've avoided any serious cardio, but now I want to lose some weight. I walked on the treadmill for half an hour and did 3 intervals of running for 1 minute. After each 1 minute interval my heart rate would be at 180, then would slow down to 140 when I would walk again. My cardiologist always seems to poo-poo my worries (probably because I'm anxious). However, it still really scares me.

    How much of the 180 bpm is me being out of shape?

    Could anyone lend any support.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,229

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleurs De Lis View Post
    I have/had a heart defect, and when my heart rate increases it stresses me out and causes great anxiety. I probably already had an anxiety disorder/or was prone to it as it seems to be familial (and "fixed" with an SSRI).

    A little bit of background: When I was 18 I was diagnosed with Supra-Ventricular Tachycardia. What would happen is: I would randomly and suddenly have a palpitation and my heart rate would jump to 235 (no joke) and would not slow down until I went to the ER to receive intravenous medicine. I've had an ablation, but have not been able to control my rate without a beta blocker since (that was 12 years ago).

    Ever since then I've avoided any serious cardio, but now I want to lose some weight. I walked on the treadmill for half an hour and did 3 intervals of running for 1 minute. After each 1 minute interval my heart rate would be at 180, then would slow down to 140 when I would walk again. My cardiologist always seems to poo-poo my worries (probably because I'm anxious). However, it still really scares me.

    How much of the 180 bpm is me being out of shape?

    Could anyone lend any support.

    I had SVT that was fixed with ablation but I too became very anxious about cardio. I would see if there is another form of exercise that you can do-- perhaps take it slower?

    Is there some way they can do the ablation again? its really a life-changing thing once it gets fixed.

    Good luck!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
    Location
    a little north of Columbus GA
    Posts
    1,911

    Default

    180 sounds reasonable to me if you are out of shape and you ran for a full minute.

    I know when I first started working with a personal trainer I came in to do cardio and got the wrong set of instructions and pushed my heart rate up that high. It was uncomfortable, but I survived.

    Given your history what you're feeling is totally understandable. It sounds like you're on the right track, starting with a half hour on the treadmill and short bursts of more intense activity. Do that enough times and you will hopefully be able to desensitize yourself and reduce the anxiety.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
    Posts
    905

    Default

    Do you have an actual heart rate monitor or are you using the ones built into treadmills, etc.? The ones in machines are much less accurate. .

    180 would seem normal to me if you're out of shape and ran for a minute as long as it dropped when you began walking. But I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv. I would talk to your doctor about exactly when you should start being worried (heart rate wise) then maybe start working with a personal trainer first who can monitor your heart rate so you can focus on exercising.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
    Posts
    4,832

    Default

    Honestly...losing weight is not so much about exercise as it is about diet. If you're more concerned about fitness, then yes, you would want to exercise. However if your main focus right now is just losing the poundage I would really focus on finding a way of eating that is going to help you reach your weight goals.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,904

    Default

    I am in what I would call very good shape. I'm 132 pounds, 21% body fat, and my resting HR is 55 bpm. I am capable of getting my HR as high as 185 when I am really going (running suicides, burpees, etc). Back when I was 170 pounds and had a resting HR of 80, I could get up to 200 just as easily.

    As long as your HR drops after you have been walking for a minute (and you have your doc's blessing), I think you're fine.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
    Location
    All 'round Canadia
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    Losing weight is, I'd say, mostly about diet. Exercise really contributes less than people like to imagine - running 1 mile on the flat only burns about 100 calories!

    Can you get a stress test done, since you're worried? I run with a HRM and my HR will go into the high-170's/180's after maybe 20 min of straight running and maintains there until I stop (I rarely run over 30-35 min at a time, def not a long-distance runner). But I never have any symptoms, and it falls appropriately once I go down to a walk, so I don't worry about it. Being out of shape and running for 1 min can definitely drive the HR up that high, with it having nothing to do with SVT.



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