Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection
SCAD is a type of heart attack that happens when the inner lining of a coronary artery tears for no clear reason, slowing or blocking blood flow down the artery.
SCAD can occur in otherwise healthy people who do not have the typical risk factors of heart disease. And according to an article in Clinical Cardiology , about 90% of SCADs happen to women between the age of 30 and 60.
What To Do If Anxious Thoughts Occur During Workouts
No advice can ever take the place of a mental health expert who knows your exact experience, so if you’re feeling anxious, make sure to consult with a licensed professional first and foremost to get to the root of your stress and anxiety. There’s no simple fix to relax the mind however, in a given workout there are things you can do to ease anxiety so that you can reap the benefits in the long run.
Elion suggests listening to music or a podcast as a way to relax your mind. Saremi co-signs this, but only coupled with doing the deeper work of finding the core reasons for your anxiety, which she emphasizes is most important. “Distraction is a really great short-term strategy, but if it’s a recurring problem, it’s not necessarily going to help you actually face the problem and learn to cope with it,” she says.
Saremi says part of the solution to overcoming anxiety during exercise is getting to the root cause of why you’re feeling anxious. “There are ways to cope in the moment, but if you don’t get to the root of why you feel stressed or anxious, it will become a recurring issue,” she says.
You also might be able to curb your feelings of anxiety by switching up your workout. “If the feeling of your heart starting to beat faster makes you feel anxious, try lower-impact workouts instead,” Elion says. “Movement is really key for managing anxiety but it doesn’t have to be high-impact. Exercises like yoga or Pilates can be incredibly beneficial for both physical and mental health.”
The Link Between Heart Health And Intense Exercise
Unlike weekend warriors, brisk walkers or even enthusiastic joggers, extreme athletes regularly live up to their name, pushing the limits of their physical capabilities. They run 50 miles or more or repeat marathons in rapid succession, regularly pushing past exhaustion, dehydration and pain that would sideline or hospitalize many people.
Extreme, long-term endurance exercise puts equally extreme demands on the cardiovascular system, says Dr. Singh.
A study done on marathon runners found that even after finishing extreme running events, athletes blood samples contain biomarkers associated with heart damage.
These damage indicators usually go away by themselves, but when the heart endures extreme physical stress over and over, the temporary damage may lead to remodeling of the heart or physical changes such as thicker heart walls and scarring of the heart.
Moreover, research found evidence that high intensity exercise can acutely increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death in individuals with underlying cardiac disease.This can also increase the risk of heart rhythm disorders, especially for the minority who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or coronary heart disease.
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What About Exercise And Atrial Fibrillation
Several studies now confirm that the amount of exercise you engage in plays an important role in determining whether or not you will develop atrial fibrillationbut this time, it cuts both ways. A sedentary lifestyle greatly increases your risk of atrial fibrillation but, it turns out, so does the other extremeoverindulging in endurance exercise.
Heart With Muscle Damage And A Blocked Artery
A less common cause of heart attack is a severe spasm of a coronary artery. The spasm cuts off blood flow through the artery. Spasms can occur in coronary arteries that arent affected by atherosclerosis.
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart cant pump enough blood to meet the bodys needs. Arrhythmias are irregular heartbeats. Ventricular fibrillation is a life-threatening arrhythmia that can cause death if not treated right away.
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How Active Do You Need To Be Each Day
A healthy amount of exercise and activity is:
- At least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three to five times a week
- Getting five minutes of movement every hour
- Walking 10,000 steps a day
Although Im a big fan of the 10,000-steps-a-day goal, your goal shouldnt necessarily be to do those steps all at one time, Blaha says. Its better to spread your activity out during the day and get steps in every hour to meet your goal.
Activity trackers can be especially helpful in motivating you to move more. Besides recording your movement to show you how much activity youre getting, modern activity trackers can boost your heart health by sending you alerts when youve been sitting too long.
Ideally, you should both exercise and have a high daily activity level, Blaha recommends. Research indicates that doing one or the other doesnt provide the same level of heart-protecting benefits as doing both, advises Blaha.
The Right Amount Of Running
A combination of both aerobic exercise and strength exercise is best. Exercise helps preserve weight loss, which is good for the heart. Exercise doesnt prevent plaque buildup or heart blockages, but it does work to make us tougher and more likely to survive serious medical illnesses and accidents.
Running is the most efficient source of aerobic exercise, hence its popularity. But only to a certain point. Approximately 15-20 miles per week appears to be ideal shorter distances and varying speeds are healthier for your heart than endurance running.
Concerned about your heart health? Find the heart care you need today.
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Extreme Exercise Vs No Exercise At All
Exercise and even strenuous exercise is associated with enormous heart health benefits in the vast majority of people when compared with people who dont exercise. However, in a very small minority who have underlying problems, exercise can trigger arrhythmia.
While there is evidence that prolonged strenuous exercise can increase risk of atrial fibrillation, the long-term risk of this is small compared to inactivity, says Dr. Singh.
When you start exercising, youll start seeing benefits like increased strength, lower blood pressure and better sleep and memory. Plus, physical activity is linked to a lower risk of weight gain, depression and dementia.
All in all, despite the concern about extreme exercise, there is not much reason for the average person to worry, says Dr. Singh. Exercising is far better than being inactive.
Cardiovascular Conditions That Can Be Caused By Alcohol Abuse
In addition to a short-term increase in the risk for a cardiovascular event, alcohol abuse can also wreak havoc on the heart in the long-term. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can cause chronic high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Additionally, alcohol abuse can weaken the heart muscles and cause irregular heartbeat. All of these factors can contribute to an elevated risk of heart problems.
The following are the cardiovascular conditions that can be directly caused by alcohol abuse:
All of these conditions can be caused or worsened by alcohol abuse. The longer a person abuses alcohol, the more likely he or she is to experience one or many of these heart problems. Having any of these conditions can increase a persons risk of a number of heart diseases.
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Protect Your Heart Muscle
Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body, beating around 70 times per minute, 100,000 times per day, and about 2.5 billion times in the average lifetime. Like any muscle, if you stress your heart and force it to work even harder than normal, your heart can become damaged.
Some of the ways people stress the heart may seem obvious carrying too much belly fat or getting too aggressive with extreme exercise. Others, like sitting for hours, drinking too much alcohol, or not getting enough sleep, might easily be overlooked. Once you become aware of how you stress your heart, and how to prevent doing so, you’ll have taken a big step toward reducing the chance of atrial fibrillation, heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.
Research And Statistics: How Many People Have Heart Attacks
Someone in the United States has a heart attack every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
According to the CDC, 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent, meaning that the person isnt aware of it and doesnt seek immediate medical attention.
About 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack each year, the CDC estimates. Out of these, about 605,000 are the persons first heart attack, while 200,000 are in people who have previously had one.
The average age for a first heart attack is 65.6 for men and 72.0 for women, according to the American Heart Association.
Fewer than 10 percent of heart attacks are fatal, according to Harvard Medical School. This rate has dropped in recent decades, likely due to wider use of treatments in the early stages of a heart attack.
Still, the broader category of heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 647,000 deaths each year, or 1 in 4 deaths.
The burden of heart disease also varies widely across U.S. states and territories. The rate of death from cardiovascular disease is nearly twice as high in Mississippi, which has the highest rate, compared with Puerto Rico, which has the lowest rate. Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana have the next highest rates of death from cardiovascular disease, while Minnesota, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have the next lowest.
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Discomfort In Other Areas Of The Body
Heart problems can cause sensations in other areas of the body besides your chest. Symptoms can include discomfort, pain, or pressure in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach. You might also experience discomfort radiating from one part of your body to another, such as from your chest, jaw, or neck into your shoulder, arm, or back.
Exercise And Heart Palpitations
There are many reasons why you might experience heart palpitations with exercise, as explained by Harvard Health Publishing. Consider what you’ve had to eat and drink prior to your workout. Palpitations can be caused by low blood sugar, dehydration, low potassium levels or too much caffeine.
To help avoid these culprits, eat a small meal consisting mainly of carbohydrates and protein two to three hours prior to your workout. This will allow your body to digest your food and use it as fuel for exercise.
Don’t just drink water while you’re exercising. Be sure to stay hydrated drink water throughout the day and monitor your urine color. The lighter it is, the better your hydration level. If your workout will last longer than one hour, drink a sports drink during exercise to replenish electrolytes, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic.
Monitor your caffeine intake too. In addition to watching your coffee and soda intake, be sure to read the labels on your workout supplements many of these contain high amounts of caffeine to boost energy levels.
If you’re sick, you are more likely to experience palpitations when working out. Risk of this side effect increases if you have a fever or are taking certain medications. Underlying medical conditions, such as anemia and hyperthyroidism, can also cause heart palpitations.
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Getting Help For Cocaine Use
Regular cocaine use increases your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Thats because cocaine can cause damage to your heart almost immediately after you begin using it, and the damage builds the longer you use the drug.
Quitting cocaine doesnt immediately reduce your risk for cardiovascular health problems, since much of the damage can be permanent. However, quitting cocaine can prevent further damage, which reduces your risk for heart-related health issues, such as a heart attack.
If youre a frequent cocaine user, or even if you only use it occasionally, seeking professional help may benefit you. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. Repeated use can lead to dependence, even addiction. Your body may become accustomed to the effects of the drug, which may make withdrawals more difficult.
Talk with your doctor about finding help to quit the drug. Your doctor may refer you to a substance abuse counselor or a rehabilitation facility. These organizations and people can help you overcome withdrawals and learn to cope without the drug.
SAMHSAs National Helpline is available at 1-800-662-HELP . They offer around-the-clock referrals and assistance any day of the year.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They can help direct you to drug abuse resources and professionals.
Cocaine damages more than your heart. Other health issues the drug can cause include:
It Boosts Your Good Hdl Cholesterol Levels
One of the ways low to moderate wine drinking heart health is by boosting HDL cholesterol levels. Light to moderate drinking can raise good HDL cholesterol. Red wine is thought to be particularly beneficial as it can boost HDL while its polyphenols have been linked in some studies to help lower harmful, small dense LDL particles that are known to be drivers of coronary artery disease. In one study reported in the journal Circulation, 14 subjects participated in an alcohol trial, keeping all other dietary and lifestyle factors constant. The results found that daily moderate alcohol intake increased HDL cholesterol by an average of 18%, compared to when the subjects abstained from alcohol.
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Alcohol And Heart Health: Whats The Real Story
The problem with most alcohol-related research is that it consists almost entirely of observational studies that only show an association, according to Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, a preventive cardiologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Womens Hospitals Division of Aging and VA Boston.
So far, the strongest evidence with heart health has shown that alcohol can increase levels of HDL cholesterol. HDL works to keep LDL cholesterol from clogging your arteries by moving it to the liver, where its broken down and removed from the body. Many studies have found that the combination of high HDL and low LDL levels protects against heart attacks and stroke. However, this is not the most important factor in preventing heart disease, and there are other ways to increase HDL than drinking alcohol, such as regular exercise, says Dr. Gaziano.
What Is Heart Disease
There are lots of different types of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and can lead to sudden death from a heart attack. Its caused by the gradual build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries in your heart on which blood clots may form. These deposits cause the artery to narrow, and make it harder for it to supply your heart muscle with the oxygen and nutrients which it needs to function normally.
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People Active During Middle Age And Later Years Need To Take Precautions
Dying during or immediately after physical activity occurs rarely. But the exercise-related death of a prominent Wall Street executive last week nevertheless raises concerns for people who want to keep active during middle age and later years.
Regular exercise is a cornerstone of good health, and its long-term benefits for both longevity and protection against heart attacks, cancer and other ailments are supported in many studies. Doctors say there are strategies to reduce the already low likelihood of a workout turning into a tragedy.
James B. Lee Jr., the 62-year-old vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., last week became short of breath while exercising and went to a hospital, where he died, his company has said.
James B. Lee Jr. , the 62-year-old vice chairman ofJ.P. Morgan Chase& Co., who regularly exercised, became short of breath while exercising and went to a hospital, where he died, his company has said. No further details have been provided. Such events could result from an aortic aneurysm or another cause, but they typically raise questions about a heart condition.
Exercise is not a vaccine against heart disease, says Michael Joyner, an exercise physiologist at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. While not specifically addressing Mr. Lees case, Dr. Joyner noted that risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are increasingly common as people age.
You cant really use the risk of sudden death as an excuse not to exercise, says Dr. Chugh.
Is This Really True
It may indeed be true that doing too much exercise after a heart attack can attenuate much of the benefit you gain by performing regular exercise. However, there are important limitations to this study that require us to put its conclusions into perspective.
First, this study was done by questionnaire only. We have to take the participants word for the amount of exercise they performed, and perhaps more importantly, for the fact that they actually had heart attacks. So at some level, the accuracy of the data itself may be questioned. This, of course, is an inherent limitation of any medical study that relies solely upon questionnaires for its data.
Perhaps more important is a finding that becomes apparent when one views the table of data published with the article itself. From that table, it is apparent that heart attack survivors who ran more than 31 miles per week were, on average, a lot younger than people who ran less. In fact, they averaged only 51 years of age. And furthermore, they apparently had their heart attacks an average of 13 years before they were enrolled in this study, or at age 38. The authors of the article do not directly address the implications of this age discrepancy.
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