Pushing Yourself to the Limit
One of the biggest questions I ask myself is if I should take it easy and follow what my doctor recommends or if I should push myself with the mentality of “should I die trying?” Now, I don’t literally want to die trying to better myself, but hopefully, you know what I mean. I don’t want to sit back and let this disease consume me. I also don’t want to look back on my life if I get in worse shape and wonder if I could have done something different.
I push myself hard
One way that I try to make sure that I die trying is with my exercise. I love pushing myself to the limit and maybe a little too far sometimes. I don’t go over my limit too much, but sometimes you have to push yourself to see if you improved from last time or if you are still in the same place.
My main exercise is jogging. How I do this is to run a little faster for a shorter period of time. I may push myself hard for one or two minutes to see how I feel. This will give me an idea if I can go another minute or if I should walk. I judge my body based on heart rate and if I am feeling any pain, including pain in my legs or cramping. While cramping may not be a sign of my heart being better or worse with exercise tolerance, it can tell me if I am possibly dehydrated and I want to back off my intensity.
Being prepared just in case
This is something I have decided to do as a personal decision. I don’t like to think this is for everyone because I know it isn’t. I am lucky to not have many symptoms of heart failure and able to exercise with little problems. However, I do believe that even if you have difficulty doing any form of exercise, so long as your doctor says it's ok to try, you should push yourself. There is no harm in trying a little with limits in mind. If you do feel there may be harm, bring a loved long with you to make sure you are ok. There is nothing wrong with being prepared for the worst just in case.
Be careful and keep yourself safe
This mentality isn’t for everyone. Of course, I am not going against my doctor’s advice by living this way. My doctor has given me pretty much unlimited cardio within my heart rate limits which is the standard limit for someone my age. For those that have pushed the limits, it is a good feeling when you make small accomplishments, even if it does put you out for a few hours or the next day.
As always, I never recommend following what I or anyone else does, without your doctor’s approval. There is a fine line sometimes with living a life of pushing yourself. If you want to live this way, ask your doctor for some limits, and ask about pushing them. Of course, it is up to you on how you follow this advice. All I ask is you are careful with it and keep yourself safe.
Do you use exercise to help manage your heart failure?