Recently, news has been spreading that sex, running and any strenuous physical activities may increase the risk of having a sudden heart attack. But studies have also shown that unrequied love or heartbreak can also trigger a heart attack.
Are we so easily subject to a life threatening event because of engaging in an enjoyable physical activity or breaking up with a loved one.
At first glance, we can get so frightened that we just decide to halt all physical and sexual activities. To carefully and cautiously limit all that activity is to stop living while you are still alive. Just because you reach a certain age, any pre-determined age, to assume that strenuous physical activity, particularly sex, can he so dangerous is not generally true. What is true, is that if you have been fairly inactive for a period of time (several months to several years) and then you suddenly engage in a very strenuous activity, you may be risking a health problem.
Haven’t we all heard about someone who went out to shovel snow and had a heart attack? We have also heard of young people having a stroke during a team sports event or while running. What many of us forget is that our bodies function like machines. They require care and attention and proper nutrition. Our bodies also require adequate oxygen and good circulation. And our minds have a powerful impact upon the funcitoning of our bodies.
If we have been emotionally stressed and our neuromuscular system is taut and inflexible, it behooves us to a find a way to relax and release that tension. Getting a massage or another type of bodywork, attending a concert, or listening to soothing music at home, even indulging in an alcoholic beverage (if we don’t have a substance abuse problem), can help us to relax. But using physical activity as a way to let go of immense tension can become dangerous as we age.
A recent article citing several studies, published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, stated that “the absolute risk associated with 1 hour of additional physical or sexual activity per week was estimated as 2 to 3 per 10,000 person-years for MI [myocardial infarction] and 1 per 10,000 person-years for SCD [sudden cardiac death]. These statistics seem to indicate that for most people, even if not regular exercisers in perfect physical condition, adding strenuous activity will not lead to a heart attack. But there is a small percentage of people who may endanger their life by doing so.
Since the incidence of heart attack was even lower for people who exercised regularly, it seems that the answer is quite clear. If you do not exercise regularly, do not suddenly take on a very strenuous activity. Build up to it slowly. Also, have regular checkups and determine what your risks may be. Do you have arterial blockage just waiting to burst? Do you have a family history of heart disease? Are you living a very strenuous lifestyle?
People have engaged in strenuous physical as well as sexual activity into their 90’s and beyond without fear of dying. The old saying, “Know thyself,” is essential for maintaining your health and improving your longevity.