Having pain during exercise does not always mean you are out of shape!

Regular aerobic exercise improves heart health, helps with weight loss and lowers blood pressure! Exercise strengthens muscles, joints, bones, improves mood, helps with food cravings and hormonal control. Research has even shown that lack of exercise can increase heart disease risk by as much as 50%. These are just some examples of the beneficial effects that exercise has on the body!

Although all of the above mentioned is true and for the majority of the population exercise is vital in order to prevent heart disease, in individuals already suffering from heart disease or individuals who are just starting to exercise after a long period of inactivity, exercise might increase chances of a heart attack or a cardiac arrest!

Exercise is generally considered safe when performed with caution. However, take extra precautions if you have recently experienced a heart attack or other heart problems, if you have been inactive for a long time or if the doctor has diagnosed you with one or more risk factors for heart disease.

Why might a person with heart disease be in danger during exercise? Use the following graphic to help you understand!

This picture will also help you understand why an inactive person might not necessarily know that he or she is suffering from heart disease. In an inactive state, the heart might still be able to sufficiently pump the blood despite the arteries being clogged.

However, whenever a person with clogged arteries suddenly starts to exercise, the blood can no longer be pumped efficiently in order to oxygenate the blood around the body because the arteries have too small of a diameter.

Familiarize yourself with Signs and Symptoms associated with Heart Attack:

*although Cardiac Arrest happens without a warning some signs of fatigue, nausea or breathing difficulties have been reported.

It is important to note that these symptoms can occur suddenly or keep reoccurring, they can happen all at once or one by one.

None of the symptoms should ever be taken lightly, as they might be signs for serious issues!

Do not take the ‘wait and see’ approach when experiencing any of these symptoms, as timing is critical when dealing with a heart problem. Just as importantly, do not try to push through a workout while experiencing these difficulties. Instead, sit down and wait a maximum of THREE minutes!

If you do not feel any better, approach a professional, call an ambulance or ask someone to drive you to the hospital. (DO NOT drive yourself, unless absolutely necessary!)


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