The next time you’re boiling mad, find a way to chill out before you hit the gym. Go for a pleasant walk instead of pounding a punching bag.
A recent study in the journal Circulation found that the combination of emotional stress caused by rage and the physical stress caused by an intense workout can double the risk of a heart attack.
This caution is particularly so for individuals who have pre-existing heart disease.
“Whereas exercise is powerful medicine, good for you in many ways, it must be approached with prudence and sometimes initiated under medical supervision,” says Dr. Joseph Hill, Chief of Cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and editor-in-chief of Circulation.
“This study suggests that the confluence of multiple heart stressors can add up and predispose to harm.”
Which is not to say that you have an excuse for sloth now. Years and years of population health studies have provided a mountain of evidence for the benefits of regular aerobic exercise on heart health.
It’s simply a matter of timing: During moments when you are in the grips of extreme emotion – anger, grief – find ways to cope other than intense exercise.
News source: UT Southwestern Medical Center.
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