Some people work out to get fit, some to be healthy, but there are others who use exercise to blow off steam. If you’re among those who regularly do strenuous exercise combined with extreme anger or even stress, you’re not doing your body any good. In fact, you are putting yourself at risk for a heart attack.

Don’t Ever Exercise When You’re Angry

If you think heavy exercise will distract you from your problems at home or at work, it actually does something even worse. When you’re angry and you involve yourself in extreme physical exertion, this can triple your risk of having a heart attack in the next 60 minutes, as confirmed by one study.

Being very upset can already double your risk of heart attack in the next hour and the same thing happens with vigorous exercise – except it’s triple the risk. This is because as you combine the two, you boost the risk even further. It is therefore advised to never use physical exercise as a way to calm down.

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Do not exercise when you’re angry or upset / PicHelp

The Link between Mind and Body

The study, which is actually the largest of its kind, evaluated a total of 12,461 people from 52 different countries. The participants who were comprised of 75% males averaged 58 years old and have already gone through their first heart attack. The researchers from the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario surveyed them all to understand how the following factors affect and trigger a heart attack:

  • Physical exertion
  • Emotional upset
  • Anger

Men and women participating in the study answered the questions given to them, which were mostly about whether they were upset as they do any vigorous exercise one hour before their heart attack or at least at the same time in the previous day. The researchers compiled all the answers and some of the findings included:

  • Extreme emotional as well as physical triggers have the same effects on the body.
  • Both exercise and being upset can increase heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Strenuous physical activities and anger can change the flow of the blood to the body through the blood vessels and can reduce the blood supply that goes to the heart.
  • Exercising while upset can contribute to the blockage of blood flow and can lead to a heart attack.
  • The risk is much higher for people who are already at risk of a heart attack since their blood vessels are already narrowed caused by plaque.
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It is true that physical activity, especially when done regularly, can provide many health benefits. It can even prevent heart disease, which is why exercise is important to our well-being. However, if you’re just going to exercise to blow off steam, you shouldn’t exercise or at least go beyond your normal routine, so you don’t put stress to your heart.


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