As I was looking for a newly published article to write about in my blog, I saw the article title “Yes, sex can kill you, U.S. study shows” so of course I had to read it. The study talks about the risk of intense exercise in causing a heart attack among people that do not exercise regularly. After reading the article I decided to write about it to talk to people about the importance of sharing your exercise plans with your doctor or health care provider before you start one, especially if you have been diagnosed with a health problem.
The study appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association and was conducted at Tufts Medical Center. It analyzed data of 14 different studies that looked at the risk of a heart attack from exercise and sex. The conclusion of the study is that the probability of a cardiac incident will increase 1-2 hours after intense exercise or sex in people that are not physically active. Over the course of a year this will only effect a small percentage of people, but the occurrence is still possible. The study also emphasizes that regular exercise will reduce cardiac issues by 30%.
I am a huge proponent of exercise to help create longevity in your life. Exercise has been shown to help improve many different health conditions, even serious ones like heart disease. The key to using exercise as a tool to improve your health is to start slowly by doing light exercise such as walking or tai chi for a short time, then build up to the guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5-6 times per week. It might seem like starting with 10 minutes of exercise per day will never get you to 30 minutes of moderate exercise (moderate gets your heart rate up to where it is difficult to have a conversation while you are exercising). You would be surprised that consistent exercise each day will increase your stamina, and within 6-9 months you will reach up to 30 minutes of exercise everyday. By looking at exercise as a lifestyle change and committing to it, you will create a new behavioral change that is easy to continue and won’t put your health at risk for a heart attack during the first days of your new exercise program.