Two tests were done to evaluate the changes. The first one is a six minute walking test. I simply walk on a level floor for six minutes and measure the distance I walked. The second test is muscle test to measure the strength in different muscles. I'm don't think it's an exact measurement but the numbers are interesting to compare. Check it out.
Six Minute Walking Test:
There was about a 20% increase from February to March and 38.5% increase from February to June. A significant improvement. During the last walking test I asked the kin if I could run for the last few minutes! Unfortunately I'm not supposed to run with an LVAD so I couldn't do it. Maybe next time when I have my heart!
Muscle Test (pounds/sq. in):
Notice the significant improvement in my quads and hamstrings over the past couple months. I attribute that to the biking I've been doing regularly. The arms improved over the first couple months but have remained similar since. They aren't big muscles so there isn't as much room for improvement. But I'm increasing my weights and tolerance.
Participating in cardiac rehabilitation has changed several things. Most importantly, my energy level has improved. It's great! I get up earlier. I don't fatigue as quickly. And, of course, I am able to do things that I certainly couldn't do before rehab and for the 1.5 years prior to implanting my LVAD. Such as biking and walking the dogs. I can garden and pull dandelions. Last summer I couldn't even pull one with the puller thing. This summer I've pulled about 500! (Stupid dandelions!)
Well I'm really happy about my improvement and overall I feel much better. I would highly recommend participating in rehab, if your doctor allows. It's a great way to exercise in a controlled environment. And the staff are a wonderful group of people!