Comedian Raju Shrivastav was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack while working out at a gym in Delhi. His condition continues to remain critical even as doctors try their best to save him. The rise in the number of such cases in recent years has led to a debate about whether intense workouts can increase the risk of a heart attack.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Professor K Srinath Reddy, cardiologist, epidemiologist, and president of, public health Foundation of India (PHFI), explained that sudden cardiac arrest during exercise or heavy physical activity can mostly happen because of existing blockages, diagnosed or undiagnosed, in the heart.
Blockages in the heart are a result of cells and cholesterol particles breaking through the barrier of endothelial cells and infiltrating the lining of the artery. This results in the formation of a bump called plaque in the artery.
Prof Reddy added that too much physical strain can cause “plaque rupture or trigger electrical disturbances in the heart” that further lead to cardiac arrest.
However, this doesn’t mean exercise isn’t a healthy practice. Individuals following a good lifestyle and keeping a check on their diet can follow their regular routine and hit the gym.
If you are a regular gym goer and have a history of heart conditions, here are things you could keep in mind to keep the risk of a heart attack in check:
- As someone who indulges in extensive physical activity in the gym, it is important to have a nutrient-rich diet as per the need of the body. Avoid eating oily or junk food.
- Practice breathing exercises to keep your blood flood in control and relax your body during intense workout sessions.
- Skip gym on days you are feeling unwell or not in the best of your health. Pushing yourself to the gym on such days may put you at greater risk.
- Take up exercise as per your physical abilities. Everyone’s body has its own capabilities and has to go through a process. Competing with others, without realizing your body’s ability can put you at risk of a health hazard.
Besides these measures, regular health check-ups to track your heart’s health must be undertaken to avoid the risk of cardiac arrest.