Can intense exercise lead to poor heart health?

Contributed by: Anjali Sharma

Introduction

Daily exercise is thought to provide a variety of health benefits, from improving your mood to improving your cardiovascular health. Along with diet, exercise plays an important role in maintaining your heart health.

Exercise raises your heart rate, which helps strengthen your heart muscle and expand your lung capacity. However, a recent study suggests that certain types of exercise may increase the risk of heart attack.

Recently, there have been reports of cardiac arrest while exercising at the gym. Pushing yourself to the max during repetitive fitness training and endurance competitions can cause heart damage and rhythm disturbances. Genetic risk factors also make people particularly vulnerable. Extreme stress is placed on the cardiovascular system during long-term, endurance exercise.

Extreme physical stress on the heart causes immediate damage that can eventually lead to heart remodeling and long-term physical changes that include thickening and scarring of the heart wall.

The relationship between heart health and intense exercise

To strengthen your heart muscles and reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems, it’s generally recommended that you get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day. However, many health researchers say that overexertion and high-intensity exercise can increase the likelihood of developing acute cardiac problems.

This explains that engaging in intense exercise regimens and participating in endurance competitions can increase one’s chances of developing heart-related problems, including heart arrhythmias.

How can overexertion cause a heart attack?

Extreme exercise can increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or sudden cardiac death, according to research published in the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health (SCD).

Research on runners has revealed that even after completing a challenging race, their blood samples still contain biomarkers associated with heart-related problems. These symptoms often disappear on their own, but vigorous physical activity can cause heart changes and problems, including thickened heart walls and heart scarring. Thickened heart walls or a thick septum can become narrowed, which can block or reduce blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta.

How to withstand an intense workout session?

Keep yourself hydrated during the workout session. Water is essential to the human body as it helps the body eliminate waste, regulate temperature, maintain healthy joints and protect delicate tissues. You don’t want to feel tired and run before a workout because that’s what being dehydrated will do to you.

Stretching has a purpose beyond warming up. Stretching can help you become more flexible, which reduces your discomfort and risk of injury and increases your range of motion, corrects your posture, and increases body control and stability. Most notably, having more flexibility makes everyday tasks easier, such as getting out of bed, climbing stairs, and reaching tall cabinets.

Although stretching is straightforward, there are some basic rules to follow to prevent injury. Begin by walking briskly for a few minutes to warm up. When starting a stretch always move into position slowly and gradually, pausing as soon as you feel any kind of sharp discomfort.

The stretches should be held for 10 to 20 seconds at first, but as you become more comfortable you can increase the hold duration to 30 seconds.

You can improve the quality of your workout by starting with a warmup and ending with a cooldown. A warmup improves your core body temperature and blood flow to your muscles.

It increases the ability of muscle tissue to stretch, which can help reduce muscle tension, pain, and the risk of injury. Although there is no clear definition of what a ‘warmup’ is, the general idea is to do a workout or activity gradually (eg, stretching, using light weights) to prime the body for faster, more intense movements.

A 10-minute cooling-off period after moderate exercise enables body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure to return to normal.

Stretching, walking, foam rolling, and deep breathing are all effective cool-down activities that can help you avoid injury and reduce stress on your heart and other muscles.

Almost as essential as activity is what you eat before and after. Food is your fuel because it gives you the energy to work and focus, the nutrients you need to strengthen your muscles and bones, and it aids your body’s ability to recover after a workout.

Try to avoid eating carbohydrates that can cause stomach problems before exercise. Examples include bananas, oats, and whole grain bread. Eat protein, carbohydrates and fat after working out. Protein-rich foods help the body build new muscle tissue, but carbohydrate-rich foods are good for hours after a long run or other endurance activity. Eat foods like beans, quinoa or Greek yogurt to help your body recover after a power workout session.

last thought

There’s no denying the benefits of exercise to your health. To reap its incredible health benefits, every person should do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day. One must refrain from putting their body or physical energy under stress. For anyone suffering from genetic or cardiovascular conditions, this is very important.

Don’t over-exercise, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Additionally, give your body enough time to rest and heal. Consult your doctor if you have any problems.

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