Day: June 5, 2010

Why Do You Put So Much Effort into Being Active and Fit?

Some of you members may ask yourself from time to time, “Why do I put so much effort into being active and fit?” Well here is a motivating story about why you should stay as active as possible.

Very early one Friday morning a 55 year old SAC member was working out with her personal fitness trainer, Jacob Galloway, and began to feel dizzy half way through her workout. They stopped for a minute and discussed what could be going on; such as not eating enough or eating their normal diet, or not getting enough sleep. They decided to continue to workout at a slower easier pace. The member then took a shower and was getting ready to leave the gym when she got dizzy again and had to sit down. She drove to work with no episode and after an hour at work she started having repeated dizzy spells accompanied by a racing heart while just sitting at her desk. It got to the point where she had to sit on the floor next to her desk; at no time was there pain or discomfort in her left arm. The member then made an appointment with her cardiologist (she had a coworker drive her), who gave her a 48-hour heart monitor to wear.

Three days later the heart rate monitor was returned for analysis and within 45 minutes of its return the member received a call at home explaining that her heartbeat had gotten up to 255 beats for minutes at a time and that the frequency of the episodes was substantial. The doctors couldn’t figure out why she had not passed out and told her to get to the hospital ASAP.

At the hospital the SAC member had an angiogram, which showed that her heart was unbelievably strong and had no blockages; but there was an electrical short in the heart (think misfiring spark plug) and that an ablation (soldering) was called for. It seems that this problem usually presents itself in athletes who are in their late twenties/early thirties and that there is a 5-10% chance of it happening again. The doctor explained that had she not been at the gym her usual 5 days a week doing weights training, Pilates and cardio exercise, this heart problem most likely would have been fatal.

The ablation was done the next day and five days later the SAC member was back in the gym for her first workout since the heart surgery, only lifting 10lbs maximum though, and like always with a smile on her face, happy to be able to continue working towards her fitness goals.

Two messages from this SAC member were:
(1) Do NOT ignore your body when it is trying to tell you something and do NOT delay in seeking a medical opinion.
(2) Start exercising if you are not already doing so. No excuses.