AEROBIC EXERCISE RUNNING BICYCLING GOOD BUT CAUTION FOR HEART AGAINST SUDDEN STRENUOUS EXERCISE IN WEEKEND ATHLETE ECHOCARDIOGRAM TREADMILL GOOD IDEA
Start Slow if you don't exercise regularlyAccording to the Mayo Clinic "investing 30 minutes a day in aerobic exercise such as walking, bicycling or swimming can help you live longer and healthier. In fact, aerobic exercise may be the magic bullet you've been looking for". (see below) Aerobic exercise refers to exercise that involves or improves oxygen consumption by the body. So for example, walking and bicycling cause the heart to pump more for longer periods as opposed to weight lifting which requires short intense bursts and is called anaerobic.
However, researchers have pointed out that people who have not been exercising regularly, weekend athletes, should avoid sudden bursts of strenuous exercise because of the possible impact on the heart. They found infrequent strenuous exercise poses a possible serious risk of a heart attack.It keeps the heart racing for a long period extending the time when problems could occur. Exercise is good but needs to be part of a coordinated gradual program for people who do not exercise regularly. Examination and testing such as an echocardiogram and treadmill test by a doctor is probably a good idea.
The researchers in 2003, said it was not only those with known heart problems who should take care. Although thousands upon thousands of people run in sporting events, races, marathons and play football, basketball and soccer, sudden cardiac problems are thankfully a relatively infrequent phenomenon. Nevertheless sudden collapse of athletes ( and weekend athletes) is a persistent phenomenon and it's not hard to do a search of Google and come up with stories about sports related medical problems.
Exercise is generally safe. Still as the old saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Fainting, chest pain, difficulty breathing and dizziness with exercise can all be warning signs of heart problems and warrant attention. Adults as well as parents and teenagers should take them seriously and see a doctor. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the issues that marathoners and just plain exercisers can face. Issues like undetected underlying cardiac problems, such as cardiac hypertrophy or heart beat irregularities. Dehydration and it's reverse over hydration leading to hyponatremia, heat stress and heat stroke. In 2002 a Honolulu marathoner collapsed after crossing the finish line. He was not sedentary, having completed marathons before, nevertheless it is instructive to read what doctors said. It is fundamentally difficult to find that one person among tens of thousands who will experience a problem with strenuos exercise. A doctor speaking about this was quoted "that running is a fundamentally healthy activity, the most popular form of aerobic exercise in the world, and will increase a sedentary person's chances of avoiding heart and other life-threatening problems "by an astronomical percentage."
"But any sedentary person planning to train for a marathon or any other tough physical challenge should get a complete physical examination first, including a treadmill stress test with an echocardiogram to record the heart's performance" Another medical doctor said he would recommend that anyone older than 40 undertaking marathon training get a stress test on a treadmill with an echocardiogram.
Electrocardiogram: Often abbreviated, as EKG or ECG, the electrocardiogram is a test that shows the electrical activity of the heartbeat.
Stress electrocardiography:Also called a "stress ECG," this test is an electrocardiogram done before and during or immediately after some form of physical stress, usually exercise on a treadmill.
Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. The test uses sound waves to shows the shape, texture and movement of the heart's valves. The test also shows the size of the heart chambers, muscle thickness and how well they're working.
Holter monitor: A small, battery-powered portable machine that records the heart’s rhythms, usually for a 24-hour period. Small electrodes are stuck to the chest and attached to a recorder that stores the information. Patients go about their activities wearing the monitor over the shoulder or stashed in a pocket. The physician is able to capture electrical heart tracings over a long period of time.