The increasing incidence of heart attacks are no laughing matter, really. News of India’s star comedian Raju Srivastava’s heart attack during a workout session on Wednesday, has drawn people’s attention towards growing heart-related ailments. While the 58-year-old is out of danger and recovering at a hospital, his predicament has made people question the correlation between workout and heart attack.
His friend, comedian Sunil Pal, revealed his condition via a Twitter post.
It was not too long ago that Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar succumbed to a heart condition reportedly after a gym session. Even TV actor Siddharth Shukla’s sudden demise at the age of 40 had raised concerns around over-exercising. There was singer KK who bid a shocking ‘alvida’ after suffering a cardiac arrest following a power-packed show. These may just be few recent celebrity examples, but if you follow news headlines, you will know that many youngsters have been falling prey to heart dysfunction in gyms.
Why are heart attack cases rising?
Dr.(Col) Monik Mehta, Chief of Cardiology, Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram, tells Health Shots, “There is an increasing incidence of young people and adults suffering from comorbidities like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and bad lifestyles and habits such as smoking and sedentary life. Such people, and those doing high-intensity workouts, are especially vulnerable to getting post-workout heart attacks.”
Those who may have a history of heart ailments or it runs in the family, are also more susceptible to these issues, adds the doctor.
According to a 2019 study published online on the National Library of Medicine, regular exercise is recommended to improve the cardiovascular risk profile of patients. However, extreme amount and intensity of long-term exertion may increase the risk of acute cardiac events.
How to reduce risk of heart attack
Considering the rising number of heart attack cases, people need to be more vigilant about their dietary and lifestyle habits. Make healthy changes to reduce the risk as far as possible.
1. Eat a heart-friendly diet
First of all, eat the amount of food you need, not what your taste buds desire. A cheat meal is welcome once in a while, but it can’t be your diet! When it comes to a heart-friendly diet, choose foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, go for whole grains, add more fruits and veggies to your plate, give saturated fat (which can lead to bad cholesterol) a miss, and if you ought to have dairy products, go for the low-fat variety.
2. Exercise, but know your limits
There is no denying that regular exercise is one of the most vital building blocks of good health. But over-exercising may not be the smartest thing to do. As per the American Heart Association, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise can be helpful to maintain overall health. Extreme exercise training can, however, put a person at a risk of heart-related complications and rhythm disorders.
3. Watch your weight
Obesity is the root cause of conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, sleep disorders, asthma, and more, which can lead to heart ailments. If you are overweight, it can lead to fatty material buildup in your arteries, which are the route for blood vessels to transport blood to your organs. Now if that route is jammed, it can lead to a heart attack.
4. Sleep well
Your body needs its time to rest. Getting sound sleep is essential to recharge your battery for another day. But if you try to keep pushing the body on a low charge, one day it will give up. So, ensure that you get at least 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily.
5. Reduce stress
As per a group of Harvard University researchers, stress could be a risk factor as high as smoking or high blood pressure, notes the British Heart Foundation. A study found that constant stress can lead to increased activity in a certain part of the brain linked to processing emotions. This has been associated with a higher risk of heart diseases. So, reduce stress and improve your emotional health for your heart’s sake, please!
6. Correct lifestyle habits
Smoking and drinking regularly can hamper heart health. If you can’t give them up completely, at least reduce the frequency and amount of intake.
7. Get regular health screenings
Yes, this is a must. We often tend to ignore subtle signs and symptoms of health issues. But if we ensure going for regular health screenings, doctors can assess risks and manage the conditions before they get out of hand.