A sedentary lifestyle is one critical risk factor for heart disease. What are the risk factors, and can exercise cause chest pain?
Other risk factors include:
- A diet high in saturated fat
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure or hypertension
- high cholesterol
- a history of heart disease
Reducing these risk factors can reduce the chances of heart attack or stroke and the need for heart-related medical procedures, including bypass surgery.
Exercise can sometimes increase the risk of heart attack, especially those with heart disease and do not monitor activity properly.
Why you should take precautions
Exercise is vital for preventing heart disease, but you should take precautions if:
- You have one or more of the risk factors for heart disease
- An earlier heart attack or a heart problem
- you have been inactive in the past
People with heart disease can exercise if evaluated in advance. However, exercise is not suitable for all people with heart disease. If you are new to training, the key is to start slowly to prevent unwanted effects. Talk to your GP before starting a new exercise program. You may also need to begin training under medical supervision.
It can be difficult for your GP to predict health problems that you may experience while exercising. To be sure, familiarize yourself with symptoms that may indicate harmful complications. Paying attention to some typical warning signs of a heart-related problem can be life-saving.
Signs of heart problems
If you have had a heart attack in the past, another may have completely different symptoms. Have medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms.
Discomfort in the chest
People often associate sudden and intense chest pain with a heart attack. Some heart attacks can start this way. However, many begin with a feeling of mild discomfort, uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or fullness in the middle of the chest. The pain can be subtle and come and go, so it can be challenging to say wrong. Stop exercising and see a doctor if this symptom lasts for more than a few minutes.
Shortness of breath
A feeling of unusual shortness of breath with chest discomfort during an activity is often a precursor to a heart attack. Symptoms can occur before chest discomfort or even without chest discomfort.
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Although physical activity can make you feel tired, especially if you are not used to it, you should never feel dizzy while exercising.
The feeling of heartbeat bouncing, palpitating or throbbing may indicate a heart-related problem. See a doctor if you observe unusual heart rhythms during exercise.
Discomfort in other areas of the body
Heart problems can cause sensations in the body other than the chest. Symptoms may include discomfort, pain, or pressure in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or abdomen. You may also experience discomfort that radiates from one part of the body to another, from the chest, jaw, or neck into the shoulder, arm, or back.
Sweating during exercise is normal, but nausea and cold sweats are warning signs of a possible problem. Some people who have experienced a heart attack have reported a feeling of warning of impending doom.
Answer the following questions if you are in the emergency room after experiencing bothersome symptoms during exercise:
- When did your discomfort or pain begin?
- What did you do when the discomfort or pain began?
- Was the pain gradually built up to a peak?
- Did you notice any additional symptoms associated with the discomfort? Where ten is the worst, what number would you describe your pain?