Why do athletes and people who exercise regularly still suffer heart attacks?

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  1. quildon profile image77
    quildonposted 5 years ago

    Why do athletes and people who exercise regularly still suffer heart attacks?

    This week a friend of mine who is a fitness buff suffered a heart attack.  He looks good, exercises everyday and eats healthful foods. How did this happen? Is there any other way to prevent heart attacks?

  2. phtech profile image82
    phtechposted 5 years ago

    Some people have a genetic disposition for having heart problems. Others work their heart too much until it simply stops working. Other underlying health issues can cause a heart attack also. I think it is the simple fact that when it's your time, no matter what health you're in, your heart can fail.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That's what I said to someone yesterday - when it's your time, it doesn't matter what you do. Thanks for your response.

  3. Express10 profile image88
    Express10posted 5 years ago

    Great question, there are a variety of factors at play sometimes hereditary issues, other times the person may be attempting to get fit but doing detrimental things otherwise, and sometimes they simply got onto the fitness bandwagon too late. I have seen very athletic people working out as if it were their jobs at least an hour to an hour and a half 4 - 6 days weekly. These same adults will booze away many hours in smoky nightclubs downing numerous drinks as well.
    Others will smoke legal substances, illegal substances, or otherwise use illegal substances but STILL exercise. Many people have sedentary jobs and long commutes and spend much of their lives on their arses. Overwhelming evidence shows this to contribute to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and other ailments. Even exercising an hour or two daily for these types of people can't reverse the damage that prolonged sitting creates. Thus, it's possible the damage is already done prior to them trying to get fit.

    Some people exercise a great deal more simply because they are eating a great deal more than they should be. This is often done in the hopes that the foods they are overeating won't add to their weight or measurements however, bad foods take a toll on the inside even if the person is very fit or attempting to become fit. Don't forget that high blood pressure and diabetes in addition to heart problems contribute to heart attacks and there are many people who have these issues and don't even know it.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      It's possible that they can have high blood pressure and diabetes and not know it, and the damage could already be done, but isn't exercise supposed to reverse all that? I believe though that alcohol and illegal drugs could play a huge part.

    2. Express10 profile image88
      Express10posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Believing exercise reverses all that ails us is a myth. Exercise can only do so much. For example, those that spend many hours on their duffs, have spent years doing damage to their bodies (known and unknown), exercise will not reverse it.

  4. goddess888 profile image71
    goddess888posted 5 years ago

    We can go on and about about scientific explanations and other possibilities that may have caused the heart attack. There are others who simply drop dead, literally. So I guess what I'm saying is that when you gotta go, you gotta go.

    Somehow somewhere along the way, our body encounters a glitch in the system which causes heart attacks and no matter how much of a health buff you are, when it's time, the curtain has to close.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Fortunately, the curtain didn't close for my friend because he got help in time, but I shudder to think what could have happened if he didn't. It only takes 4 - 6 minutes for the brain to die without oxygen.

    2. goddess888 profile image71
      goddess888posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      cheers to life!

  5. Lady Guinevere profile image60
    Lady Guinevereposted 5 years ago

    Heredity plays a huge role in that.  It isn't only sitting on your duff for many years.  Many of those that do do not suffer heart attacks.  I think that number is way out of proportion by the health and Insurance Industries.  I have know many overweight people who have SIT DOWN jobs that are healthy.

    1. Express10 profile image88
      Express10posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You're right heredity is just one of at least 11 factors in heart attacks & desk jockey jobs/sedentary lifestyles is another of these 11 factors. Heredity isn't the only factor. What a person does and doesn't do, day in & out counts a great d

    2. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, Lady Gunievere. Heredity seems to be a major culprit, but one would think that a person who does not sit on their duff all day long, but is always up and running, literally, would not have a heart attack

    3. Lady Guinevere profile image60
      Lady Guinevereposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Some things we just have no idea about.  Many do not even know what is in their heredity as they don't even know their genealogy.  Believe me that is a daunting task! Some things just are a freak accident.

  6. Disappearinghead profile image76
    Disappearingheadposted 5 years ago

    I have no idea how this happens but am interested if anyone knows. After a very sedentary lifestyle for the last 20 years I have taken up cycling again. I really would like to know if I am now putting my life at risk. Already I have had two occasions where I know I pushed a little to far for comfort as my pulse went to very high levels and took an hour to settle back down.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Disappearinghead, I don't think any of us really knows how this happens, but I think a good piece of advice would be to have a thorough physical before beginning any exercise routine, especially if you've lived a sedentary lifestyle.

    2. C.V.Rajan profile image60
      C.V.Rajanposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Better be moderate my friend, to avoid becoming "disappearingbody!"

  7. AMAZING THINKER profile image59
    AMAZING THINKERposted 5 years ago

    It's rare to have a heart attack if you workout regularly, but some people overexert themselves, which is wrong. It's not what you do, It's how you do it.
    It may be hereditary, in which case you have to be extra careful. Not everyone is alike, some things work for you some don't.
    Hope he gets well soon!

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you, AMAZING THINKER. I agree it is indeed rare. I'm searching for answers so that hopefully, I and my friend and others can try to avoid a heart attack. But, of course, God is in control.

  8. profile image53
    MarioBalloposted 5 years ago

    Lets provide a simple example. Lets compare our bodies to a tire. Tires are the greatest tool that we could have ever achieved, so perfect and useful in pretty much any functional activity. Just like the human body, one of the most powerful and efficient "machines" in existence. Tires can take a decent amount of damage before the wear and tear leaves them useless, depending on the damage they can either be repaired or be retired( where they polish them and add extra layers of rubber and stitching to bring them back to their days of glory). Just like tires, if athletes go over the amount of "mileage" the body can take without taking rest periods, in order to "retire" and invigorate their systems, they can suffer many types of damages ranging from mild dislocation and bone fractures(typical overuse injuries) all the way to more complicated and serious over exertion ( killing yourself while training/competing) to the point where you are in pain but choose to ignore it in order to finish your current task. That is a dumb choice that i had to learn the hard way twice. Just as we abuse our bodies, we should allow for them to rest and regain their "glory" condition before moving into the next vigorous activity.   As a fitness person, who is acting alone and exercising as a hobby, one can set the boundaries. However, as a professional that can sometimes be hard. Unfortunately, as a professional athlete one is expected to go beyond those limits and go above boundaries in order to reach world-class or elite worthy conditioning and fitness. When we try to do so, we are over exerting our bodies very hard. Just think all the pain and discomfort the muscle-skeletal, the respiratory, and the digestive systems must undergo in order to compensate. Out of all these organs, the ones that suffer the most direct  impact are the heart and the
    lungs. As a result, in most cases, the worst case of overexertion would end up in a heart attack. After abusing your body for months in preparation for a competitive term, there just isn't enough "rubber" left to hold the body together.
    Hope this comparison helps.
    I do admit that this entry omits the analysis of people who are non-athletes but still manage to abuse their bodies in other unhealthy ways

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      This seems to make sense. I know my friend exercises regularly in addition to riding to and from work everyday ( a distance of 8 miles each way, I think) so maybe he does overexert himself. Then he does have the genetic component.

  9. Peggasuse profile image83
    Peggasuseposted 5 years ago

    You'd have to know for sure, what that person's life is like and what he/she is doing before you could come to a conclusion. 

    Sometimes people TELL you they're doing all the right things, but they're actually not.  I have an aunt who constantly complains that she can't lose weight.  She says she never eats breakfast and lunch and really doesn't eat at all until dinner time.

    One day I went over to her house for dinner and saw what she put on her plate.  It was enough to feed me for 3 nights!  So you see, people don't always tell you the truth.

    If someone is exercising regularly, eating ALL the right foods, doesn't drink, smoke or take drugs and is a happy type of person, that's about all you can do to stay health, and I think that's enough. 

    Of course, some people just die because it's their time.  I believe that we all have a block of time to spend here, and when that time is up, that's it, no matter what you do. 

    I think it's best to stop thinking about how to prevent death and concentrate on how to enjoy life, while you're here....

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That is funny about your aunt. I know someone who says she never eats sweet, and one day someone forgot a pack of M&Ms in her cabinet and she ate the whole thing! I was amazed! But thank God my friend is still alive, and I know he'll be more care

    2. C.V.Rajan profile image60
      C.V.Rajanposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Peggasuse,
      Unfortunately many people think that to enjoy life when you are here, you need to eat anything you like, smoke, drink take drugs and be free from any moral bindings!

  10. Abby Campbell profile image93
    Abby Campbellposted 5 years ago

    I'm sorry about your friend, quildon.

    We may see a fitness buff exercise and eat healthy on a regular basis, but we don't always know what is going on in a person's body or what his "healthy" habits really are as there may be things going on that we don't see behind closed doors. Some may be closet eaters of unhealthy foods, shooting up steroids or other drugs, overexercising, or just overstressed. For the most part, healthy people do not suffer heart attacks. Only on rare occasions does this happen. For those who are truly living healthy lifestyles, genetics is usually to blame. We have witnessed young professional athletes suddenly die. After autopsies, it was found that these young people had heart defects from birth but were never diagnosed. Unfortunately, we can't always know about these things.

    As far as preventing heart attacks, the best thing is to exercise and eat healthy like your friend did. Rest and staying away from stress will also help.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You're right. Outwardly, he looks very healthy and he eats healthy foods, but I'm just learning that heart disease runs in his family, so he has to be even more careful.

  11. JamesAng12 profile image88
    JamesAng12posted 5 years ago

    There are many reasons for a heart attack. There are what we call modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for a heart attack. Non-modifiable risk factors (i.e. you cannot change them) include age, gender (propensity towards males), ethnicity and genetic factors. Modifiable risk factors include things that one can control, such as diet, exercise and lifestyle factors, to name a few.

    It's unusual for an active and healthy person like your friend to suffer a heart attack, but things like these can still happen. There are some heart conditions out there that are genetically influenced and can predispose to heart attacks. People with undiagnosed or uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol can be at a higher risk as well. These are just a few possible reasons. It would be good for your friend to do a thorough medical checkup after he recovers to make sure none of these possible conditions go undiagnosed. For the same reasons, it is always good for seemingly healthy people like you and me to have regular checkups as well so that any hidden conditions can be tackled early.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for your comment. I'm now learning that my friend has been suffering from high blood pressure, and that it does run in his family. But in my ignorance I always thought that one could prevent heart attacks by keeping physically fit.

  12. dradijain profile image54
    dradijainposted 5 years ago

    yes their are much more things affected on this.....ets provide a simple example. Lets compare our bodies to a tire. Tires are the greatest tool that we could have ever achieved, so perfect and useful in pretty much any functional activity. Just like the human body, one of the most powerful and efficient "machines" in existence. Tires can take a decent amount of damage before the wear and tear leaves them useless, depending on the damage they can either be repaired or be retired( where they polish them and add extra layers of rubber and stitching to bring them back to their days of glory). Just like tires, if athletes go over the amount of "mileage" the body can take without taking rest periods, in order to "retire" and invigorate their systems, they can suffer many types of damages ranging from mild dislocation and bone fractures(typical overuse injuries) all the way to more complicated and serious over exertion ( killing yourself while training/competing) to the point where you are in pain but choose to ignore it in order to finish your current task. That is a dumb choice that i had to learn the hard way twice. Just as we abuse our bodies, we should allow for them to rest and regain their "glory" condition before moving into the next vigorous activity. As a fitness person, who is acting alone and exercising as a hobby, one can set the boundaries. However, as a professional that can sometimes be hard. Unfortunately, as a professional athlete one is expected to go beyond those limits and go above boundaries in order to reach world-class or elite worthy conditioning and fitness. When we try to do so, we are over exerting our bodies very hard. Just think all the pain and discomfort the muscle-skeletal, the respiratory, and the digestive systems must undergo in order to compensate. Out of all these organs, the ones that suffer the most direct impact are the heart and the

    lungs. As a result, in most cases, the worst case of overexertion would end up in a heart attack. After abusing your body for months in preparation for a competitive term, there just isn't enough "rubber" left to hold the body together.

    Hope this comparison helps.

    I do admit that this entry omits the analysis of people who are non-athletes but still manage to abuse their bodies in other unhealthy ways

  13. midnightcandle4me profile image59
    midnightcandle4meposted 5 years ago

    Cases of heart problems my be linked to heredity.  Eventhough a person leads a healthy living, he still needs to undergo a physical check-up once in a while to determine his physical fitness especially when engaging in strenuous activities. Going to a Doctor for a check up and seeking advice is the best way to prevent a heart attack.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your comment, midnightcandle4me.

  14. peachpurple profile image80
    peachpurpleposted 5 years ago

    my neighbor was a healthy man, mid 40's . he is a regular badminton player. One day, he suffered a heart attack at the badminton court. Collapse and died on the spot. Never knew what happened. Sudden attack maybe due to symptoms he should had known but didn't realize it was vital.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      So sorry about your neighbor. I feel sad every time I hear things like this. And we'll never know why it happened because I believe each case is different. Thanks for  your comment.

  15. C.V.Rajan profile image60
    C.V.Rajanposted 5 years ago

    There is an old saying in Sanskrit "Mitham amritam".
    It means anything done moderately is like nectar. That's where your friend might have failed.

    1. quildon profile image77
      quildonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You're probably right. He's not a moderate kind of guy. Thanks for your comment. Love that saying, BTW.

 
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