Changes in health may call for changes in your workout 04/21/2011
Woodridge retiree Stan Strand is a founding member of Edward Health & Fitness Center at Seven Bridges and a lifelong “gym rat.” He loves doing boxing drills and lifting weights.
And at 68, he’s in better shape than most men 20 years his junior, according to Carol Dreiss, his Edward Health & Fitness personal trainer.
So he couldn’t believe the chest discomfort he felt during a three-hour workout last summer turned out to be a heart attack. His diet and Type-A personality had conspired to create an artery blockage that required an angioplasty and stent to open.
“Zen will never be one of my strong points,” Strand said.
Since then, he has tried to dramatically reduce the intensity of his workouts – and his response to stress.
“It’s a matter of maybe thinking a little more than reacting,” he said.
Dreiss said she has always tried to rein him in, but after cardiac rehab, she had him start over. She prescribed weight machines that worked on one muscle group at a time, then free weights that required him to stabilize his core muscles before lifting.
Strand also walks up to three miles a day, five days a week. He’s back into boxing, but has to monitor his heart rate and perceived exertion.
With the help of a dietician, Strand has changed his eating habits, too.
“The beef market and cheese market probably crashed,” he said. “The dietician said processed food is fine – if you just open the box, throw (the food) away and eat the box. You’ll get better nutrition than if you eat the food inside.”
He considers himself lucky. His heart attack was a warning sign pointing to a need to change. And that’s a lesson he’s learned through a lifetime of working out.
“Recognize the inevitability of change,” he said. “At any training level there is a need to monitor and revise the challenges you choose to enhance your program.”