One of the most important requirements for maintaining a healthy heart is to have a healthy lifestyle, which involves regular exercise. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, then you are only putting yourself at risk for cardiovascular diseases. Lack of physical activities is known to increase the likelihood of developing heart disease by 50 percent.
Staying active will decrease your risk of developing heart disease and regular, aerobic exercise have been proven to improve your heart health. However, sometimes strenuous exercise can also increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, especially in people who have heart disease and are not monitoring their health properly. If you are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, then here are some signs of heart problems you should watch for while working out.
Who Needs To Take Precautions?
Exercise is important in helping people prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease. While exercising is considered to be safe for most people, but if you suffer from the following factors, then you need to take precautions while exercising:
- If you have been sedentary or inactive for a long time
- Your doctor has told you that you have either one or more risk factors for heart disease
- If you have recently experienced a stroke or heart attack or any other heart-related problem
However, this does not mean that people who have heart disease cannot exercise. They just need to exercise safely if their doctor has already evaluated their condition beforehand. At the same time, though, exercise is not recommended for all people who have heart disease. Especially if you are new to exercising. When you are just starting out exercising, then you have to remember to start off slow so that you can prevent any side effects. Also, if you have any medical conditions, then you should always talk to your doctor before you start any new exercise routine. If you have heart disease, then it could be that your doctor recommends you to begin your workout routine under medical supervision just to be on the safer side.
Nevertheless, in spite of all these precautions, it can prove to be difficult for even your doctor to predict any health problems that you might experience during exercising. This is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms that might suggest an adverse reaction and complications. Being aware of the warning signs of a heart-related issue will help save your life.
Signs of Heart Problems While Working Out
Even if you have suffered a stroke or heart attack previously, it does not mean that when you have another one, the symptoms will be the same. If you experience any of the following signs, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
A sudden, sharp and intense pain in the chest is typically associated with heart attack. However, while some heart attacks begin in this manner, not all of them will begin with a sharp and intense pain. Some heart attacks may begin with a mild feeling of discomfort. You may feel some uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or a feeling of fullness at the center of your chest. The pain accompanying a heart attack can also be subtle, instead of being intense. The pain may come and go, making it difficult to understand what exactly is wrong. If you experience this while working out, then stop exercising immediately and seek medical attention if the symptoms last for more than a couple of minutes.
Shortness of Breath
Feeling short of breath or unusual breathlessness accompanied by discomfort in the chest during exercising is usually a precursor to a stroke or heart attack. Shortness of breath can occur even before you experience any chest discomfort or it can be accompanied with chest discomfort.
Lightheadedness or Dizziness
You may feel tired after or while exercising, especially if you are starting out new and are not used to it. However, exercising should never make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, then you should take this warning sign very seriously and stop exercising and seek medical help immediately.
Abnormalities in Heart Rhythm
If you feel like your heart has skipped a beat or you experience palpitations or a thumping, then this could be an indication that you are having a heart-related problem. Stop exercising immediately and seek medical help if you notice any type of unusual heart rhythms while working out.
While some sweating is normal while exercising, experiencing nausea or breaking into a cold sweat is to be taken as a warning sign of a possible heart problem. Many people who have experienced a heart attack have reported feeling a sense of doom.
Discomfort in Other Parts of the Body
Signs of heart problems are not just limited to the chest area. Warning signs of heart problems can also be experienced in other parts of the body. Symptoms can include pain, discomfort, or pressure in the back, arms, jaw, neck, or the stomach. You may also experience a feeling of discomfort that radiates from one part of the body to another. For example, it may radiate from your jaw, chest, or neck, to your arm, back, or shoulder.
If you experience any of these warning signs while working out, then you should immediately seek medical help as timing is critical when it comes to dealing with a potential heart problem. At this crucial junction, every second will count so do not take a wait-and-watch approach or try to continue on with your workout. If you have earlier had a heart attack then it is all the more critical that you seek medical assistance immediately upon experiencing any of these symptoms.
According to recommendations by the America Heart Association, you should not wait for more than a few minutes before calling 911 or the medical emergency number in your country. Keep in mind that your heart may stop beating during a heart attack and you will need proper medical assistance and equipment to restart your heart and get it beating again.
If someone is with you, have them drive you to the nearest hospital immediately if you feel you are experiencing a heart attack. Remember that under no circumstances should you attempt to drive yourself to the hospital.