Perils of extreme exercising: Here’s how it can be harmful and dangerous for your heart – The Financial Express

By Dr Shalin Thakore,

Even while doing enough exercise is essential to maintaining good health, doing too much of a good thing can often have the opposite effect. Recent studies have shown that while moderate exercise is generally beneficial for one’s health and assists in the maintenance of a physically fit body, intense exercise can be extremely harmful to the body. Your heart serves as the primary pumping organ for your cardiovascular system. With the rise of exercise and workouts being encouraged, it’s important to examine the potential negative impact it can have on our bodies.

Age, health, and preferred exercise modality all play a role in establishing a regimen. However, recent studies have shown that excessive exercise has more negative effects than positive ones. The tremendous strain on the heart from too much exercise has been shown to cause cardiac arrest in a growing number of gym enthusiasts recently. Unfortunately, we have found cases of cardiac arrest in gyms. Experts agree that stressing the heart too much places a heavy burden on the circulatory system and can cause rhythm disturbances in the heart.

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Extreme endurance exercise has the potential to cause atrial fibrillation, which could trigger a cascade of adverse effects. Some of the increased risk for arrhythmias, which are disturbances of the heart’s rhythm, and enlarged arteries is likely due to the combination of high-volume, high-intensity strength training repeated over time. Experts agree that the cardiovascular system takes a serious beating during prolonged bouts of great endurance. Studies have shown that those with preexisting cardiac conditions, such as coronary heart disease or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, are more likely to experience a sudden cardiac arrest after participating in high-intensity activities. The abnormal thickening of the heart muscle is a characteristic of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Athletes who engage in an extremely strenuous physical activity run the risk of experiencing hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the brain, as a result of their training. To get the most out of your workout, you need to make sure you’re getting enough oxygen. Aim for a blood oxygen saturation of at least 88%, and ideally 93%. The heart has to work harder and you have less energy when your oxygen levels are low. Minutes after the first signs of hypoxia appear, irreparable damage can occur to the brain, heart, liver, and other organs and might also lead to organ failure.

Balanced Exercising

Moderate exercise is better than overdoing it. Moderate exercise like walking, running, swimming, or cycling boosts heart health. An average person should exercise 150 minutes per week. Adults should aim to acquire approximately 5 hours of moderate exercise or approximately 2.5 hours of more vigorous activity per week or a mixture of the two.

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Constantly working out at a high intensity requires special attention and should only be done under the watchful eye of a trainer. As gyms grow in popularity, particularly among the young, exercise regimes that include weightlifting needs special supervision. Resistance workouts boost systolic and diastolic blood pressures, while mobility activities simply elevate systolic. Blood pressure measurements are systolic and diastolic. This abrupt rise in diastolic pressure might cause a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

Eating Right is key

In order to maintain good health in general, eating a healthy, balanced diet is crucial. The two go hand in hand, so make sure your diet compliments your workouts. For optimal physical and mental health, it is essential to follow a regimen of nutritious eating and regular exercise.

High-intensity exercise combined with reduced caloric intake might lead to nutritional deficits since the body will draw from its reserves of nutrients. Weight loss by fad diets is associated with an increased risk of malnutrition, which in turn raises the risk of anaemia, heart disease, stroke, mental decline, etc. You need to watch what you eat to be healthy. After an intense workout, refuelling with carbohydrates and high-quality proteins aids recovery and repair of muscle fibre damage while also increasing circulation to the working muscles.

Resting is Underrated

While ‘physical activity’ is important, so are ‘rest days. Taking time off at regular intervals allows your body to rest and rejuvenate. Exercising can sometimes cause mild muscular damage. However, specialised repair cells known as fibroblasts work on it as you sleep. This promotes recovery and growth, which in turn makes the muscles stronger. Working out depletes the glycogen your muscles store. If these supplies aren’t renewed, muscle fatigue and discomfort are inevitable.

(The author is Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Shalby Hospitals Ahmedabad. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the

Disclaimer – The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy.

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