Could too much cycling cause heart problems?

Could too much cycling cause heart problems?

Exercise is safe for most people and is actively encouraged. In the short term, it can improve your mood and energy levels. In the long run, it has been proven to improve the outcomes of chronic diseases including heart health. In general, 30 minutes of a moderate level of exercise (eg. brisk walking, recreational swimming or cycling) each day is encouraged. This holds true for people of all ages, and studies have demonstrated a reduction of cardiac risk in people up to 80 years old who exercise. Do you know what each heart rate zone looks like?

Abnormal heartbeats. Heart palpitations are another symptom that you should never ignore. It could be pounding in your chest or a light, fast fluttering. If something doesn’t feel right, that’s a sign that it isn’t. If your heart is suddenly zooming along at 210 beats per minute for no good reason, that’s a sign to get checked out. Same thing goes if you’re at home going through your data file and you see episodes where your heart rate is pushing 200 or so when you felt like you were going along at 125.

Mysterious shortness of breath. If you’re a cyclist—no matter what your level—you know what your breathing pattern is like when you’re riding. When it doesn’t feel normal for the exertion level you’re at, particularly if you’re cruising along fairly easily and suddenly working to catch your breath, something is wrong. This is another easy one to blow off as something else, says Creswell, and indeed it might be. Unexplained fatigue. This one generally shows up off the bike. If you’re tired on the bike and not progressing or you’re even regressing, it’s a warning sign.

Nearly blacking out. This is a big red warning flag. If you are nearly blacking out—or worse, actually blacking out—while you’re exerting yourself, it’s really dangerous for a few reasons. One, you could crash. Two, you could suddenly die from a serious underlying heart problem.

In young people (below 40 years old), the common causes of cardiac symptoms are related to structural abnormalities in the heart. Conditions causing abnormal thickness in the wall of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) or inherited electrical disturbances should be excluded from consideration, since they can be linked to an increased risk of sudden fatality. In later age, and especially in the presence of risk factors, coronary artery disease due to cholesterol-rich plaque build-up is more likely to be the cause of exercise-related symptoms. These important causes can be ruled out using a series of tests including an electrocardiogram, exercise treadmill test, and echocardiogram. Cardiac CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can check for structural abnormalities. If the symptoms are indeed attributed to a cardiac cause, the doctor can manage the condition with treatments and advise on thresholds of exercise capacity.

People with a history of heart disease or have multiple risk factors should consult their cardiologist before commencing any vigorous exercise training programme. Supervised exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes are recommended for patients after cardiac events. These are proven to improve confidence and long term recovery, and reduce the risk of relapse. Taking care of your body is just as important. Heart conditions, if left alone, can often pose a dangerous risk. If you are someone who actively plays sports or are thinking about doing a new intense sport, consider talking to a friend of Hermina's doctor and even having a heart check to assess your health and physical condition for the activity. Heart disease is no longer a disease of the elderly, young people like us today are also prone to heart disease. Avoiding that, let's immediately control the heart health of Friends of Hermina with Hermina Kemayoran General Hospital. Both routine heart care to post-heart attack care.

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