It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

CP Alters Your Cardiovascular System

About a month ago Ellen wrote a post about how max is super skinny. Max has oral coordination problems and she was wondering if he isn't eating enough. I responded that a high metabolism comes along with spasticity and went into detail. I wonder what people think when I write comments that are longer then the post. The tighter your muscles are the more calories you burn. Even just sitting on your butt. I learned this when I had my first gait lab experience at Gillette. Tight muscles need more oxygen and that means your heart has to pump faster to keep up with that increased need, and well you can eat a whole lot. It explains why my resting heart rate is in the high 80s-low 90s.

Before I had my big surgery I ate TONS. I don't know how my mom kept up with the grocery bill. I also have a former roommate that ate bowls of ice cream for dinner and chugged Hershey's syrup out of the bottle and couldn't gain an ounce. She's super skinny, has been always. This isn't to say that someone who has increased spasticity can't gain weight/be overweight. That is an equal probability it seems from what I've gathered. If you have a harder time getting around, especially if you're a full or part time wheeler, you just don't have the opportunity to burn it off. It all depends on many factors. This drove me crazy for years, but now I just don't care anymore.

This brings me to a question I've been meaning to pose on here for a long time. I run. I LOVE TO RUN. I've been told it's bad for my joints, that I put 3X the force on my ankles as opposed to able bodied people, but I don't care! Except, well, I've always wondered if I'm doing damage to my heart. The heart rate monitor on the treadmill often reaches 200bpm and I've always assumed it's actually higher--that the machine just doesn't go that high. My thinking though is that you're supposed to double your resting heart rate when engaging in cardiovascular exercise and being that my resting heart rate is 92 lets say and that it's oh, about 124 just walking at 1mph, I SHOULD keep my heart rate that high.

I breathe so heavy, get bright red, guzzle tons of water, take what seems like forever to get back to a normal rate of breath. Is that ok? Don't just say no, substantiate your opinion. Any cardiologists read my blog? I'm wondering if the heart just isn't designed to work that hard and if I am going to wear it out at a young age. Should I be worried? Or am I paranoid as usual?


Emma said...

I wish my spasticity gave me a higher metabolism. Hanging out in the morbidly obese (but working on it successfully!) category here. But reading this post makes me wonder if the spasticity thing might have something to do with my blood pressure readings being consistantly in the "this needs an eye keeping on it" end of normal/getting into the high range.

Cheryl said...

I've never thought about blood pressure before. Always just focused on how easy I get out of breath. Last time we checked (6.5 years ago), they do some calculation, and I use 3.5 more oxygen when walking vs the average able bodied person (I guess they take age into account?) with my exact body mass.

I guess that could cause higher blood pressure, but that is not something I have ever had an issue with. It's funny how the body works, that one thing, spasticity, can do so many different things to different people.

I will never be able to get away with gulping chocolate syrup from the bottle, but I've never seen my friend get out of breath like I do.

Jay said...

Not a cardiologist, but I am an internist, and I don't think it's a great idea to push your heart rate past 200 on a regular basis. The increased oxygen utilization is interesting and probably is related to the spasticity. In addition, you may not be able to fully expand your lungs, which will make you get out of breath more easily as well.

Can you run for briefer periods and walk in between? Or, better yet, talk with a PT or trainer who will know waaay more about this than I do?

Cheryl said...

Even better, a PT who trains on the side for fun. I've been lucky to find one both places I've lived. Current trainer (and by current I haven't seen her in over a year cause I crapped out on exercising and am just now getting back into it) kind of just made a face, made less of a face though when I made reference to my resting heart rate. Really I do think a cardiologist would know more...

Interesting that you said I may not be able to expand my lungs fully. Never heard that before, but it certainly makes sense. After I became close friends with an SLP I finally found out why I talk SO LOUD. Obnoxiously loud. Inadequate breath support, which I linked solely to the whole spastic muscles need more oxygen thing, not to a difference in lung capacity. Certainly something to ask my physiatrist about.

Thanks for answering Jay. I didn't know you were a regular reader.

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