Don’t Risk Your Heart: How Exercising in Middle-Age Can Lead to a Cardiac Event

There isn’t a single doctor who wouldn’t recommend a healthy diet and regular exercise. The two are extremely beneficial, especially if you’re hoping to live a long and healthy life.

Unfortunately, for middle-aged people, there are cardiac risks associated with vigorous exercise. Around 40 years old your muscle mass may begin to decline at a rat of 8 percent per decade. It’s essential to be aware of the risks and practice a safe exercise routine to ensure that your vigorous workout routine isn’t your heart’s undoing.

Cardiac Arrest

“Heart attacks aren’t just for older, overweight men with high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” says Dr. Ilan Wittstein, an assistant professor at John Hopkins. “Doctors are seeing patients in their 40s come in with heart disease due to self-inflicted risk factors…Middle-aged men need to be on guard. Even if you work out and eat healthy, you could still be at risk.”

All people aged 40 and over have an increased cardiovascular risk. It’s essential that middle-aged people recognize this risk, and talk to their doctors before performing any strenuous workouts. The most important thing is to attempt to exercise smarter, not harder. Try and exercise, or be physically active, for at least 30 minutes each day, but don’t overdo it, as this can increase your risk of cardiac arrest.

Exercise should be implemented in every lifestyle, regardless of age. If you’ve experienced cardiac arrest before, or you’re currently high-risk for it, you can still exercise. Talk to your doctor about what low-impact exercises are appropriate for someone in your condition. You may also want to invest in one of AED Brands Lifepak defibrillators, as this will ensure you get the help you need should a life-threatening cardiac event occur during exercise.

Vessel Disease

“By middle age, most people have developed some underlying early stage vessel disease,” warns Kade Davison, a clinical exercise science teacher. Plaque could be building in your coronary arteries, which in turn could result in a cardiac event. “If anyone is going to have a cardiac event they’re far more likely to have one during exercise,” says Davison.

It’s important to be wary of over-exercising as you grow older. It may not be a good idea to enter that upcoming triathlon or endurance race. Instead, you’ll want to focus on a healthy and consistent regiment of exercise, ensuring your body’s electrolyte balance, hydration, and potassium levels don’t change in an unhealthy way.

Heart Tears

Heart tears are caused by over-doing it. Even something as low-impact as stretching can cause a heart tear. Of course, regular stretching is good for the body, but over-stretching isn’t. Tiny tears in your heart can cause a variety of health issues as time goes on, including:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Scarring
  • Stiff arteries
  • Inflammation

Because heart tears are difficult to detect on your own, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor – especially if you participate in vigorous workouts. Your doctor will refer you to a cardiologist who will monitor your heart and test for heart tears, as well as many other cardiac issues. Your doctor will then be able to assist you in building an exercise routine that is safe for your body.

Everything in Moderation

Practice moderation and you can ensure that your heart stays strong as you grow older. Never over-exercise – especially during middle-age, as this could potentially result in a cardiac issue. Keeping a strong body should lead to living a long life, so make sure your exercise routine is safe for your age and body type.

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