The following activities may pose particular dangers for high-risk individuals:
- Intense workouts may be particularly hazardous for people with risk factors for heart disease, especially older people. Examples of intense workouts include snow shoveling, slow jogging, speed walking, tennis, heavy lifting, heavy gardening. These workouts tend to stress the heart, raise blood pressure for a brief period, and may cause spasms in the arteries leading to the heart. (See image: Coronary Artery Spasm)
- Some studies suggest that competitive sports, which couple intense activity with aggressive emotions, are more likely to trigger a heart attack than other forms of exercise.
Listening for Warning Signs. It should be noted that according to one study, at least 40% of young men who die suddenly during a workout have previously experienced, and ignored, warning signs of heart disease. In addition to avoiding risky activities, the best preventive tactic is simply to listen to the body and seek medical help at the first sign of symptoms during or following exercise.
These symptoms include the following:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
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