I give plasma two days a week. When you check in you have to go through a series of qualifying stuff. After you do an on-screen questionnaire, they check your temperature, weight, heart rate and blood pressure. They also do a finger prick to test blood protein levels. It has become pretty routine for Monday and Friday mornings, as I have been doing this pretty consistently since October.
Since I started working out recently, I have been a little amazed. I haven't really done much work. I have trimmed off a few of the extra calories. I have lost about five pounds, but that doesn't surprise me. Just cutting out fast food every other day could cover that. What has shocked me is the differences in my blood pressure and heart rate. I was almost disqualified because my heart rate went below the acceptable range. It has dropped from an average in the 70's down to the 40's. I actually had to meet with the nurse to explain to her why my heart rate has been gradually getting lower over a three week period.
Apparently, heart rate being too low is a sign of poor health and can indicate that the heart might not handle plasmapheresis. Luckily, the nurse asked the right questions to explain it away. She gave me a pass so that I won't be disqualified in the future if I am out of the acceptable range.
I haven't really noticed much of a health difference from the little bit of exercise I have been getting. I guess I feel pretty good lately, but no big deal. I am really surprised that there has been such a measurable difference in my vitals. I wonder how much of a difference I would see if I hadn't been an athlete in the past? I don't feel like I am in shape by any means. I haven't put in a single swim this year more than 2900 yards, and I have also only jogged twice all year.
I once read an article about how difficult it is to fit exercise into your day. The article said that even if you only have ten minutes to fit in something as simple as a brisk walk, that it was worth doing. They stressed the point that when you hit the ten minute mark you start to burn off triglycerides, and for many people that is a major step toward warding off heart disease. Can it really be that easy?