Can over-exercising lead to heart attacks? Here's what experts have to say

The doctor said this condition is undiagnosed in most cases, so the risk increases when people start intense exercising.

By Sumavarsha kandula  Published on  13 Nov 2022 1:30 PM GMT
Can over-exercising lead to heart attacks? Heres what experts have to say

Hyderabad: Television Actor Siddhanth Vir Surryavanshi passed away due to a cardiac arrest while working out at a gym. In the past couple of years, Siddharth Shukla, Puneet Rajkumar Raju Srivatsav, and other relatively younger people have died due to cardiac arrests, especially those with an active lifestyle. This raises the question: Does "over-exercising" negatively impact one's health?

NewsMeter spoke to Dr. Imran, a cardiologist at Amor Hospital, and Mr. Jitesh Mogli, a wellness and fitness expert, to know what happens in these cases and how they can be avoided.

Medical reasons

When asked what might be the medical reason, Dr. Imran said, "There are blockages usually as the result of coronary artery disease in which fatty deposits called plaque build up inside the coronary arteries. They generally don't cause heart attacks, but when they rupture under acute stress, that can cause heart attacks."

About the seriousness of blockages, he said, "Even 30% blockage can rupture, or 80-90% blockages. It depends on the person."

The doctor said this condition is undiagnosed in most cases, so the risk increases when people start intense exercising.

Speaking about being more careful, Dr. Imran said starting slow is the best way. "One can't wake up one day and say, I will run a marathon or do an intense workout. It is always advisable to start small and try to acclimatize your body," he advised.

"Especially when you try to get active in your 30s, start by walking or brisk walking for 10-15 minutes for one or two months. Based on how one's body is coping, one can increase the time or intensity," he added.

The cardiologist also suggested staying safe by getting a complete lipid profile and 2D echo tests. Another test is a treadmill test, he said. "In this test, the person exerts their heart under medical supervision, so if there are any blocks, they can be detected," he explained.

Lifestyle and supplements

When asked about the steps to inculcate a healthy lifestyle and workout plan, Mr. Jitesh said, "There is a significant difference between progressive and excess training. People, in general, when they exercise excessively, put a lot of strain on their respiratory system, which can lead to cardiac problems. It also depends on the individual's nutrition, sleep, lifestyle, and mental and emotional health."

He added, "Excessive exercise is never good for anyone, regardless of their age."

Professional athletes and sports celebrities work out with a plan and schedule it in advance with guided nutrition, rest, and adequate direction from their coaches, he explained.

Speaking about artificial supplements taken to build muscle mass, the fitness expert said, "Muscle can be perfectly formed with natural food, with a well-planned natural diet and a suitable workout program. Supplementation would surely increase one's performance, but it is advised to be taken only under the supervision of professionals."

Safety precautions at gyms

Dr. Imran suggested that every gym or high-intensity exercise place have a defibrillator that can be used in cases of sudden heart attacks. "Having a paramedic or a person trained in CPR can certainly save lives," he added.

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