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Pacing with a Heart Rate Monitor

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by urbantravels, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    I did not go to Pacific Labs, but I had the similar/same? testing done closer to me. My AT was determined to be 129 BPM. I am 40, so 220-40 is 180. 180 times 0.6 is 108, so there is something wrong with this formula. Hope this helps! I am "moderately" impacted, I still work at most 30hours/week but do not do much socializing. I do walk 1 to 3 miles when I have the energy!

    GG

    PS I Get winded from climbing 3 flights of stairs, not that I do that often, so it might have changed! I consulted the lab where I had the testing done, and they suggested that I start at 110 BPM and see how my PEM is. I hope to get back on my bike in the spring, so only time will tell!
  2. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    Hi ggingues,

    Thanks for relaying your experiences. Interesting. I suspect the calculation is too high for me - severely impacted.

    Hoping you make the progress you desire. Best wishes.
  3. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    Another interesting observation ... drinking water spikes the HRM quite significantly for a few seconds and eating lowers it right away.

    Anyone else notice this connection?
  4. AliceZ

    AliceZ

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    I have also noticed the connection between drinking water and heart rate with the monitor, which I had never noticed before getting the monitor, Shannah.

    I recently got a heart rate monitor after reading the "E Word" article on this forum. I figured it might help me a bit with biofeedback. Using my age and the 50% guideline, my AT is 87 and I if I set my alarm to 10% below that I set it to 78. I quickly learned that was way, WAY too low for me, as about the only time it wouldn't be ringing is when I'm fast asleep. I played around with the watch a bit by wearing it all day a couple of days and figured out a number where it doesn't ring all the time, 110. I then got a clicker counter and set about trying to figure out an average number of rings per hour so that I could set a goal for when to lower the alarm to 109. Well, in 2 different days I had averages of 41 rings/hr and 6 rings/hr, so that method didn't work. I am now working on a method by which I set the goal of <100 clicks on my clicker counter per 8 hour period. I initially decided that if I could hold that for 7 days in a row I would then set the alarm down to 109, and do the same thing again after 7 days if I could hold that setting. However, I am resetting it to 109 tomorrow because I found out that it actually is incredibly easy to stay below 110 if I move in slow motion like a snail as described so eloquently by Victoria referred to in post #10 in this thread by Urbantravels (by the way, thank you both for that). I figured out I can move that slowly very well when I'm in a recovery mode after a crash, as I have been ever since overdoing it on Thanksgiving a few days ago.

    I have also found that, in addition to drinking water, washing my hands raises my heart rate so I am working on washing my hands sslloowwlllyyy. Same with drinking water. I can't walk across the house at normal speed without the alarm going off, so I have to shuffle a few feet, wait for the rate to go down, and shuffle some more.

    Thank you for starting this thread, OnlyResting. I have sent you my request to join the group on FB.

    I, too, would like to know if there are any significant health risks for wearing the heart rate monitor for long periods of time, SallysBlooms. I have found it a great biofeedback tool in the couple of weeks I have had it, but would also like to know how much extra EMF exposure we're getting from the monitors.
  5. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    I'm finding the monitor enlightening as well. Like you Alice, I'm also finding slow & easy is the best way to go. Not always easy though.

    I've been beeping a lot lately over the past week or so and discovered while at the doctor's last week that I suddenly am getting high blood pressure. Always low or low to normal before. I went off the Equilibrant thinking the licorice in it might be contirbuting and although it's better, it still seems high with lots of beeping while doing barely anything at all. The doctor has me on thyroid medication for the last few months and is now testing the numbers to see whether this might be problem.

    Another thing I've noticed is that when the monitor is going off, sitting or laying down right away helps but also crouching down stops it almost immediately. Starting to wonder if this might indicate a problem with blood pooling in the legs. Can't think of why else that might be. Thoughts anyone?
  6. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    I think your heart just has to work harder to get blood up from the legs when you're standing upright, and even more so for us, owing to low blood volume and all our other malfunctions. I seem to recall from the CAA webinar on orthostatic intolerance that crossing your legs and squatting are among the "postural maneuvers" that people with OI almost unconsciously adopt to keep the blood moving.
  7. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    Thanks urban. I missed that particular webinar.
  8. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

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    Alice z, I ordered a new monitor with no strap to see how it works. I hope it works since I wear the strap transmitter all day. They aren't meant for that so it worries me.

    I absolutely know the monitor was one key to my getting better. I have POTS and it is a fabulous tool! I hope my hr monitor with no strap arrives soon.
  9. OnlyResting

    OnlyResting

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    Hi everyone :)

    Alice - I've added you to the group.

    My own thoughts on drinking water is that our body has to work harder when we consume something colder. That might be nonsense but I'm sure I read something about athletes being discouraged from taking onboard fluids that were chilled for that reason.

    The formula for calculating AT is far from perfect, I acknowledge that. The only 'ideal' way is to be properly tested but that costs money. I'm finding that the more I come to learn about how my heart rate influences how I feel at the time (and afterwards) the more I can be pragmatic about when to stop what I'm doing. For example, I know that if I let my heart rate get to 140 I am going to be forced to lay flat for around 20 minutes to get it back down to acceptable levels. Conversely, I have come to realise that letting it go above my AT (109) for a minute or so whilst I walk around isn't going to cause me any future problems.

    I'm still thinking about how to make the group as useful as possible for everyone. At the minute, we have a good collection of articles/research materials and we have the benefit of user experiences from those of us who are already up and running. I was thinking a regular diary would be a good feature so others could pick up tips along the way so that might be an option in the near future. Also, I think the question invariably turns to "what next?" once we learn to live alongside using a heart rate monitor. To that end, I'm thinking of devising a standardised routine that can act as a guide for me to measure progress/deteriation and to try to identify patterns in terms of what I can and cannot do on 'good' or 'bad' days. Work in progress.

    Take care everyone :)
  10. OnlyResting

    OnlyResting

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    Oh, almost forgot.....

    I don't want to say to you all "don't wory about radiation/EMFs" as we all have to make our own judgement calls on risks. I would like to say though that the levels are very small. I did a bit of digging around on this subject a while back and found that other household devices were giving off much higher levels. As an example, my BlackBerry gives off massively more than my HRM.
  11. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    Hi Only,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I'm always pleased when I hear my experience lines up with others. I've tried drinking room temperature water and basically the same thing happens - maybe I should try warm and see what happens.

    Do others notice their heart rate drops when eating? Is this common?
  12. helen41

    helen41 Senior Member

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    I've been pacing with a polar and am managing quite well at home. I must confess though, I have turned it off in public, because I attract attention when every few steps I have to stop and rest. I don't go out so much these days anyway...I have changed a number of habits since I learned my AT. I used to push through, now I do 3 stairs, stop then do 3 more. With slowing my pace I actually end up get more done. I sleep better, I am not waking up with burning legs and my general comfort level and cognition seem to be better for it.
  13. OnlyResting

    OnlyResting

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    Hi shannah,

    It's entirely possible my theory about water is rubbish :p

    In terms of food, I've found that the amount of food is key. A small amount seems to have a neutral or decreasing impact but if I eat too much (which I have done twice recently!) my resting heart rate goes from 60ish to 80ish for hours afterwards. Presumably as a result of so much energy being diverted into digestion.
  14. OnlyResting

    OnlyResting

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    I couldn't agree more, Helen :)

    Armed with the knowledge the HRM is giving us, combined with the after-effects in terms of symptoms, we would be foolish to keep pushing. Like you, I have split even the most basic task into little chunks. Everything takes so long as a result (and I'm not the most patient person) but I've seen the benefits of this approach for myself now.... so, I go with it.
  15. shannah

    shannah Senior Member

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    Congratulations Helen! Baby steps eh? I'm always amazed at what a grateful bunch we are with whatever improvements come our way.
  16. helen41

    helen41 Senior Member

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    I went to Pacific Fatigue Lab in Aug, and they gave my AT as 113. If I just go by the formula, it would be 99BPM. Right now, sitting on the couch my HR is 86. I believe that the resting HR is very significant as well. If I went by the calculation, I would only have a 13 beat window and standing up would put me over.
    I usually don't get winded at AT- the only way I know is the beep of the monitor, but it really has been a learning experience
  17. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Beeping in public can be an issue. I turn off the "beeper" of my HRM when I'm going to be out in public, but I keep it on and try to look at it frequently.

    Could the problem with drinking water have anything to do with what you're doing physically when you drink it? I have learned that raising my arms (standing at mirror brushing hair, etc.) is the quickest way to send my HR over 110, but it's usually fairly transient. Does it make any difference if you sip the water with a straw versus lifting a glass?
  18. AliceZ

    AliceZ

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    Shannah-
    If the thyroid theory doesn't pan out, maybe you can explore blood sugar as a possibility, especially with the Holiday foods we're eating. If I'm not careful with my blood sugar, my heart will start racing.
    I don't know anything about what may be causing it, but I've noticed that my heart rate will also lower when I crouch but then start racing when I straighten up again.
  19. AliceZ

    AliceZ

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    Sallysblooms-
    I'm not sure what kinds of options there are out there, but I got the monitor with the transmitter because I'm really sensitive to tight constricting things and thought if the wrist strap on a wrist-only monitor was constricting in order to pick up the heart rate I might not wear it that much due to discomfort. Is the one you've ordered one that tightens on the wrist? If so, I'd like to hear how comfortable it is. If it isn't, then what method does it use to pick up the heart rate?
  20. AliceZ

    AliceZ

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    UrbanTravels-
    Interesting. I wouldn't have thought of that. One of these days when I've got some time (hahaha) I need to spend a little time looking into this OI and POTS stuff. There's so much information out there we can use to help ourselves, sometimes it's just a matter of figuring out where to get it (and in my case finding the time to use it).

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