For people suffering from Orthostatic Intolerance, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Mast Cell Activtation or EDS. Follow me as I document my struggle towards better health.

Going into "Maintenance Mode" with Dr. Levine's Exercise Protocol

I have now passed the three month mark of Dr. Levine's Exercise Protocol for postural orthostatic tachycardia and orthostatic intolerance.  I am feeling much better than I did at the beginning.  So what's next?

At the end of the three months I started doing the Tony Horton's P90 exercise DVDs.  I like the power yoga, plyometrics and the varied weight routines.  After two weeks of the DVDs I started to see some muscle definition.  However, I started to feel more symptomatic and my fatigue levels were going up.  WHAT A DRAG!!  In fact, I had to stop doing the DVDs and went back to the rowing and recumbent bike exercises.

Since I always wear my heart rate monitor when doing my exercises (!!!!) I noticed that during the routines my heart rate would vary between 100-165bpm whereas when I was doing the exercise protocol, my heart rate would be fairly steady within the target heart rate zones.

My Theory:  When my heart rate gets above >160, exercise intolerance sets in.

I emailed Dr. Levine's team in Texas to ask what my next steps were and they suggested I repeat month three of the protocol.  So that is what I am doing.  Recumbent cycle, rowing or swimming for the cardio portion and for the weight training, I am doing the P90 Sculpting DVD as it does not get my heart rate up too high (unlike the P90 cardio DVD).  My goal is to graduate from the P90 DVDs to the P90X Extreme. GRRrrrrrrrr I'm gonna be RIPPED!


  1. Elisabeth, if the third month is cycling, rowing, and swimming when does walking and being upright come into play?

  2. being upright starts partway through the 3rd month. I still walk now as walking doesn't get my heart rate up too high. Regardless of where I am in the protocol rowing seems to be the best exercise.

  3. so you can do almost any walking you want?
    DO you still not feel well all the time now?

  4. I agree that over-doing it can be a problem. I actually had to switch trainers over this issue--torn abdominals were the final straw. My former trainer (a male, not Lori) was treating me like a private in boot camp. I first thought this would be good but after some injuries and some nudging from my wife, I dropped him and now work with a young woman who is more sensitive to my condition. As Elizabeth has noted in early posts, we don't look sick and after 12 months in the gym, we seem pretty strong and fit, but this all deceptive. The fact of the matter is that we go to the gym to manage a serious health condition and we need to recognize that with every visit and pick our trainers and programs carefully. For what its worth, I've had much better luck with women, especially educated women trainers who are willing to read up on my illness.

    I gave a talk yesteday to 100 people. I was able to sit and that helped a lot. I could easily refuse to give talks with this condition (OI) but I figure, if I faint, so what. At least I tried.