14 October 2022
We see that there are various unforeseen incidents that are happening daily with fit youngsters and people from other age groups, due to ignorance towards heart health. It could be an impact of over working out on a healthy heart. Here's how
While ‘no pain, no gain’ is a very common saying amongst people who workout, this is not necessarily the truth in more scenarios as it can lead to overtraining, which is often a phenomenon that most people fail to realize while it’s happening. We see that there are various unforeseen incidents that are happening daily with fit youngsters and people from other age groups, due to ignorance towards heart health hence, it is of utmost priority and importance to raise concerns about these issues and talk about the right way towards a healthy heart and its health.
The body undergoes stress during exercise and while some stress is good, constant and additional stress after a certain point is not. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Spoorthi, Fitness expert at Cult.fit, cautioned, "Not realizing one’s maximum threshold and continuing to workout in such a condition can be fatal. While you exercise, your heart helps to circulate blood throughout the body. It contracts faster and circulation is increased. This means that the muscles receive oxygenated blood much faster. While muscles also help to circulate blood, your heart does most of the work. Working out in moderation helps improve this process and strengthen the muscles of the heart."
She explained, "When you overtrain, the demand for blood to the muscles is going to increase and the heart will overwork in trying to meet the demands. Your heart rate increases and so does the speed of the contractions, along with the force of pumping blood. Tracking your heart rate and heart rate variability is one way to ensure you’re not overworking your heart. High variability in heart rate is something you can look out for. This can also be due to various other factors such as recovery and sleep. To summarize, overtraining can lead to the heart working harder, thus leading to cardiovascular conditions. You can ensure you don’t overtrain by getting optimal rest, eating well to fuel your body well, and tracking your heart rate so you can modify your workouts."
Warning about the same, Dr V Vinoth Kumar, Senior Consultant, Interventional Cardiology at CARE Hospitals of HITEC City in Hyderabad, revealed, "People develop heart attacks and other heart-related issues varying from mild to severe during workouts and marathons. One of the main reasons is a structural abnormality. This is often seen in people with narrowed or smaller aortic valves that pump limited blood to the body. Physical activities that demand more blood for the body will be strenuous as the heart cannot provide it. Furthermore, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), an abnormally thick heart muscle is common in people under 30 years who may suddenly collapse due to heavy physical activities. Alternatively, there may be blockages in the blood vessels of the heart even in the heart of young adults leading to sudden cardiac arrests. Both HCM and blockages are seen in youngsters as it may be genetic in a few cases Parents who have experienced early age heart complications before the age of 50, at times pass it on to their children as well."
He suggested, "It is important to get a regular cardio check-up of 2D Echo and ECG which reflects the condition of the heart. Blockage of less than 70% goes unnoticed in tests. Perfectly healthy hearts that has 10-20% blockage suddenly results in 100% blockage and cardiac arrests in heavy smokers. It is best to avoid smoking as it directly impacts the heart. People with diabetes, need to control their sugar levels while working out on a regular basis. In conclusion, heart evaluation by a cardiologist and regular monitoring by a professional while working out are very important. Increasing the workout plans gradually is the best route rather than jumping to heavy physical exercises and activities."
It is well known that exercise is good for us, but at the same time, extreme activity which pushes the healthy limits can be dangerous. Dr Gopi A, Director - Interventional Cardiology at Fortis Hospital in Bangalore, shared, "Chronic extreme exercise training and competing in endurance sports like marathons can lead to both heart damage and heart disorders. This is common in people who have genetic risk factors for such abnormalities. One should not put away their walking shoes as moderate exercise is the best prescription for good physical and mental health. All extreme athletic activities have been linked to certain cardiac complications. When marathon runners are examined, after a marathon or after any chronic endurance sport, by blood biomarkers like troponin or CPK and MB, a higher level of biomarkers is found in these patients. Higher levels of biomarkers suggest minimal amount of cardiac damage."
He elaborated, "When this happens, once in a while, the heart can repair itself and get back to normal but if it happens repeatedly over a short period of time, it can damage and result in some remodelling of the heart. As a result of it, the patients will have thicker heart muscles and there will be areas of scarring in the heart, which can lead to certain complications later on. In addition to this, very high intensity exercises, short bursts can be dangerous for the heart, they can acutely increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death. So many of the celebrities’ mortalities have taken place on the field or on a football ground. Moderate exercises like walking, jogging and swimming are ideal for people facing cardiac concerns. 150 to 300 minutes moderate intensity of exercise per week, is advised. This has got multiple benefits in terms of weight reduction, improvement in blood pressure, controlled diabetes, better sleep and stress management. To sum it up, exercising in moderation is good, but high intensity exercise has got its own risks. It is highly recommended to undergo a proper health check-up before getting into high intensity exercises."