Heavy exercise, jogging could turn fatal, warns cardiologist

Mumbai: As Maharashtra is moving towards the Mission Begin Again allowing people to do outdoor workouts besides lifting other restrictions from August 5 onwards on instructions of Central health ministry, eminent city cardiologist Dr Brian Pinto chief of cardiology at Holy Family Hospital has warned not to engage in heavy exercising, jogging etc as it may prove to be fatal and can also cause sudden cardiac arrest.

He said, "If one starts doing exercise now, there likely to be a spurt in number of cardiac arrest cases as people have been unfit in this period of pandemic as they were not exercising. So when the lockdown is removed then there is a likelihood of bigger spurt in cardiac deaths and also of heart attacks. Therefore, those who will be exercising should be more careful when they start and they should not go to gyms immediately and rather should do more outdoor activities and start slowly. Also, masks should be used when they come across the people. There is no need of wearing a mask when jogging outside in open. One can use surgical mask than using N95."

iCARE a non-profit, first project of its kind in the country that dedicates itself to the cause of providing crucial knowledge and hand on training to members of public on how to keep a victim of a sudden cardiac arrest alive until emergency medical help arrives led by eminent cardiologist spearheading the project by Dr Yash Lokhandwala, Dr Armida Fernandez (Ex-Dean, Sion

Hospital; Medical Director, Holy Family Hospital (Retd)) including Dr Pinto and supported by various doctors, BLS certified professionals, volunteers have stated that heavy exercise in any situation carries a risk for a heart attack or a sudden cardiac arrest. Coming out of the lockdown when many individuals are not physically fit and starting to exercise both outdoors and in gymnasiums will carry a greater risk of cardiac deaths and heart attacks. Moreover, in the opinion of many doctors wearing a surgical mask is quick and appropriate in the current scenario for people exercising in the outdoors.

However, for people wishing to get back to the gymnasiums the N95 mask may be important to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but this could increase the risk of heart-related issues like heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths.

The NGO has also stated heart disease is one of the commonest causes of death in India today. Nearly 30 per cent of the population (2 Million in the country per year. 24000 in Mumbai; 2 every hour) drop dead suddenly at home or at public places due to what is medically known as "sudden cardiac arrest."

Libin Matthew, a fitness trainer on wearing mask while exercising said that it will restrict the oxygen flow to the body. He explained, "The supply of oxygen goes down. When we exercise we run out of breath, the heart beat shoots up. One should be comfortable while breathing and if while exercising the mouth or nose is covered the oxygen flow is blocked. Secondly, rigorous exercise causes cardiac arrest it could happen with a beginner but those who have been doing rigorous exercise from quiet a long time they will not face any issue as they have conditioned their heart. Those who haven't done any exercise and doing heavy physical training their heartbeats will shoot up and they may feel week and static. So yes slowly and gradually one should start if they are new. And those who will start exercise after a gap may not feel week but they may feel tired and exhausted."

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