BOUNTIFUL — Mike Glenn knew he was diabetic. “I’ve had some health issues. I’m a husky gentleman and I haven’t really cared,” he said.
With his wife’s encouragement, the 34-year-old joined a weight loss program and bought a Fitbit to track how many calories he burned.
“But really I wanted it to translate to extra calories so I could have that extra piece of pizza. That’s what I wanted,” he said.
Glenn lost 30 pounds, but reality didn’t set in until he went camping with his family one weekend.
“I remember I was behind my trailer and I started moving a cooler around and I thought, ‘I’ve been moving around a lot. I wonder how many calories I’ve burned,’” he recalled.
Glenn checked his heart rate on his Fitbit, which he said was normally at 75 beats per minute. His heart rate was showing 40 beats per minute.
He initially brushed it off, then finally realized his condition was more serious.
“My chest is heavy, my arm hurts, and my heart rate is really low,” Glenn said.
His wife recognized the signs and said, “You have a problem. We need to go to the hospital.”
Glenn was taken by Life Flight to a Salt Lake City hospital for emergency surgery. “The doctor looked at me and said, 'You had 100 percent blockage. You had a 50/50 chance that you made it,'” Glenn described. “I had a heart attack and I had no idea.”
Today, Glenn is in cardiac rehab at Intermountain Medical Center to monitor his recovery. “All my gym time is hooked up to a heart rate monitor so they can read my heart rate,” he said.
“Not only is he feeling better, he is looking better and we can see the difference in the changes every day as well,” said Lane Bridges, an exercise therapist at Intermountain Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehab.
Bridges said living a heart-healthy life is simple. “Eating those fresh fruits and veggies (and) achieving 150 minutes of activity every week,” he said.
Glenn said he will keep wearing his Fitbit. “It’s like my safety blanket now,” he said.
His cardiologist reassured Glenn they would do their best to make sure he never had a heart attack again.
“I trust him. Between diet, exercise, medications and follow-up, I feel better about my health now than I have in a long time,” Glenn said.
Bridges said exercise doesn’t always have to be planned. He encourages people to take advantage of everyday activities like playing with your kids or walking to the grocery store.