Are Runners at Risk for Cardiac Events?

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runnersConsidering the importance of exercise to improving your health, you’d think that long-distance runners would not be at serious risk for cardiac events like a heart attack. Hearing about runners suffering a heart attack during marathons may cause you to question this conventional wisdom, however.

It’s true that regular exercise from activities such as running and jogging can help strengthen your heart as well as other muscles and organs in your body. However, high-intensity workouts can also put a strain your heart. If you’re already suffering from cardiac health issues, this strain could lead to an acute cardiac event.

How Do I Know If I’m at Risk?

Exercise is crucial to the health of your heart and your whole body. Even if you suffer from heart and blood pressure problems, exercise is still an important part of treating and managing your condition. Jogging and running is a good way to get your blood pumping and work your heart.

However, the amount and the intensity of your exercise can determine if you’re at risk for a heart attack while jogging or running. When your running is appropriate to the current state of your health, it can greatly benefit your cardiological system and help prevent a heart attack. But the stress put on your heart during intense training for competitions can have the opposite effect.

When you engage in high-intensity running that goes beyond your current fitness level, you put yourself at risk for a cardiac event.

How Do I Exercise Safely?

Your doctor will have the best recommendations based on your particular physical condition. However, moderate jogging for 150 minutes a week is often recommended as a baseline for your daily running. Increase your time and distance jogging moderately, and take care to not overwork yourself.