I passed my stress test! This is a relief because I was stressed about it.
There’s been some concern among my Doctor Group about my Blood Pressure (BP) and Resting Heart Rate (RHR). I was given 1 month to lower my BP, which I did, but then my RHR was high for unknown reasons. This mystery led to scheduling today’s Stress Test with the cardiologist.
Lisa-the-Trainer from Pulse took her responsibility very seriously and has been encouraging me … (what’s the opposite of “gently”?)… to do more cardio, especially leading up to today’s test. I can’t prove it but I suspect this is the reason she added a second tabata sequence at the end of Sunday’s Trivia Cycle. I mean, when has she ever before said to the class, “Oh! I forgot, there’s one more song, just one more.”
FYI, tabata is a four-minute cycling sequence with a series of eight intervals that are 20 seconds all-out push, and then 10 seconds of rest. It’s killer and Lisa usually shortens the tabata classes by a few minutes because it is so hard.
But I can’t prove anything.
Anyway, I’ve definitely seen improvement cardio-wise. I did the cardio intensive Triple Threat class Sunday before Trivia Cycle, for a total of two hours (120 minutes) of high intensity cardio. According to my FitBit, my working heart rate dropped during the training from an average of 145 the first hour to an average of 130 the second hour. And before you say I was phoning it in, you try doing tabata after 2 hours of high intensity interval training (HIIT).
I’ve also lowered my resting heart rate from 94 to 89 in the 3 weeks I’ve been working from home, which I attribute to both the increased cardio and decreased stress, although it’s still too far from my baseline of 60. The 10,000 steps per day goal associated with all FitBit enthusiasts is also likely a favorable factor.
So for the stress test, Nurse Sandra attached little stickers all around my chest, two on my sides, and briefly a few on my arms and legs. Some of the places were ticklish, so I giggled. Sandra said some people cry from fear during the stress test, poor things, which I can understand. I calibrated my FitBit measured heart rate to the readout on the computer, finding them to be perfectly in sync.
Dr. Stevenson came in and explained the process. He told me about his FitBit step count and his issue keeping up with his wife’s count, (“my stride is longer”) while I jogged on the treadmill. Yes, my heart rate went up but my BP stayed normal. In the end, The Dreaded Test was over pretty fast and not nearly as hard as a typical gym workout. Dr. S pointed to the little spikey lines on the computer and said, “you’re heart is showing a normal, healthy response to stress. Based on these results, you can exercise as hard as you want to.”
Don’t tell Lisa.