How to have a safe marathon: heart-wise?
It is common knowledge that physical exercise promotes health and prevents heart disease and heart attacks. However, we also sometimes see young, healthy looking people having heart attacks or dying suddenly during training or during marathon running.
Why is this paradox? And what can we do about it?
Well, the difference is between moderate regular exercise which has all the benefits of exercise minus its risks, versus intense, vigorous exercise, which has slight additional benefit but with increased risk, especially if unaccustomed.
The risk of vigorous exercise like running or training for a marathon comes from interplay of two factors:
Hence, to prevent a cardiac catastrophe on vigorous exercise we need to do the following:
In summary if you have been 'screened' properly (including a CACS, if deemed appropriate), if you make a gradual entry into an exercise program, building up your stamina and endurance slowly and safely, noting any unusual symptoms at any time, are leading a healthy lifestyle with diet, regular exercise and sufficient sleep, using protective medications if advised and enough fluids, you are sure to minimize your chances of a heart attack and are on the road to success without tears.