Randle’s recovery: Commitment leads to success after mini-stroke
Rufus Randle planned to support his wife during cardiac rehabilitation after she had a heart ailment.
He would drive her to physical therapy and wait patiently, but then Randle, 76, had a mini stroke earlier this year and lost some feeling on the entire right side of his upper body. Now, the Chicago resident isn’t only supporting his wife’s cardiac rehabilitation, he’s a patient.
Randle goes three times a week, mostly riding the bike for cardiac exercise.
“It’s a blessing that everything worked out well for me,” says, Randle, a cardiac rehabilitation patient at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “My body feels so much better doing a little exercise so I can keep up an active life. I would tell everyone that what they need in their life is a little exercise.”
Brandon Nemeth, a fitness specialist at Advocate Trinity Hospital, believes people need to follow two important C’s of working out: commitment and consistency.
“To bring a greater sense of responsibility to working out, I encourage everyone to write a fitness contract that specifies when, where and how they’ll be more active,” says Nemeth. “Sign it, asking a friend or family member to be your witness. It sounds crazy, but making your commitment public helps you to follow through.”
When it comes to consistency, he also suggests telling yourself no matter what, you will work out today even if it is just for 10 minutes.
“You don’t have to be perfect, but just being active every day will reinforce the idea that fitness is a habit worth your time,” he says. “To be consistent, I urge you to make exercise part of your daily routine.”
However, people need more than a steady exercise regime to maintain good health. Eating right also becomes essential in maintaining a healthy weight. Since snacking is often a catalyst to weight gain, Nemeth suggests picking items that are naturally high source of vitamin E, calcium, protein and fiber.
“Make the swap and choose nuts over chips for a crunchy alternative,” says Nemeth. “Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats Stash premeasured 1-ounce baggies of nuts in an office drawer to nibble on when the 3 p.m. hunger pains hit.”
He also recommends small changes can make a big difference:
- Never skip meals and always have breakfast
- Include a source of protein at each meal or snack
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Take home half of your meal when eating at a restaurant
- Eat a balanced lunch and dinner
- Rethink your drink. Try to drink more calorie-free beverages like water
- Pack a healthy lunch
- Record your food intake
Randle says he’s doing well and regaining his form. He believes the key to maintaining good habits is an inner desire to do so.
“Sure there are days when I feel tired, but you have to push,” he says. “I just know how I used to feel and how I feel now, and there’s a difference.”
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