Whether it’s in our fitness training sessions at school or in advertisements, we’ve heard about the benefits of exercise all our lives. Exercising has been the solution to almost everything. Do you have high cholesterol? Exercise can help. Do you have weak bones and joints? Exercise can be beneficial. Feeling anxious? Exercise can cheer you up, and the list goes on.
But having heard about the myriad benefits of exercise, we also heard that exercise also causes heart attacks. Some of the big names in the entertainment industry have had heart attacks while in the midst of vigorous exercise. Heart attacks have never been uncommon and unheard of. But lately, most heart attack cases have been reported in gyms.
So where does it take us? All this while we thought that excessive exercise is good for our health, but now why is it giving us heart attacks? Should we exercise? Should we even go to gyms?
The questions are many, and today we will answer them in this blog post.
So can vigorous exercise cause heart attacks?
Heart attacks occur when blood flow to the heart stops. Being devoid of blood flow, the heart muscles become damaged, further damaging a large part of the heart, which can turn fatal in the end.
Although exercise is considered beneficial for cardiovascular health, it cannot be denied that excessive exercise can lead to cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and cardiac arrests.
Existing blockages in the heart can cause sudden cardiac arrest during exercise. Also, putting excessive pressure on the heart can cause the plaque to rupture. It can even cause electrical disturbances in the heart, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
When it comes to heart attacks, when a person pushes more than they should, it makes a big difference in the blood supply and demand equation. While your body demands an extra blood supply, your heart works too hard and beats faster to supply the required blood, leading to a heart attack.
On top of that, vigorous exercise can also lead to the rupture of pre-existing plaque in the arteries. It can also trigger an abnormal heart rhythm, which can lead to cardiovascular collapse. Remember, there isn’t much your heart can take. Pushing your heart to work harder than it should only puts you at risk.
What should you do then?
First things first, you should not start an exercise routine without having your health evaluated by your doctor. Especially if you have a smoking habit, high blood pressure, or a history of heart disease in your family. If not, you should see a doctor and have heart tests like ECG, TMT, ECHO, CT or CAT and coronary angiogram to get a better analysis of your heart condition.
Second, if you are starting an exercise routine after a long time or have never exercised in your life, beginning vigorous exercise can be dangerous. Start slow. Start with low intensity workouts and work your way up to moderate intensity workouts.
Even when you’re doing moderate exercise, it’s easy for it to turn into vigorous exercise. You should never cross 80% of your maximum possible heart rate. It is considered a red zone, which increases the possibility of a heart attack. It is recommended that you use fitness bands that monitor heart rate.
Also, you should never ignore symptoms like heaviness, sore throat, left shoulder pain, back pain, stomach cramps, headaches, and dizziness. The moment you start to feel these symptoms, stop exercising.
Get rid of the saying, “No pain, no gain,” instead adopt the saying, “Listen to your body.”
Start listening to your body. Your body is always giving you signs and warnings. Don’t ignore them, in the name of trying harder. When you feel like it’s time to take a break, take it. Breaks are important. Not taking breaks can put you at risk.
So is the gym to blame?
No, the gym is not to blame, but vigorous exercise is. While it is true that vigorous physical activity can temporarily increase the risk of heart-related events, it is important to recognize that regular exercise provides numerous long-term benefits for cardiovascular health. By understanding individual risk factors, consulting with medical professionals, and adopting proper exercise routines, people can strike a balance between pushing their limits and protecting their heart health. With proper guidance and moderation, it is possible to reap the benefits of vigorous workouts while minimizing the potential risks, ensuring that exercise remains a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.
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