At 11.30 am, Jeninda Carvalho, a 30-year-old from Vasai died on Tuesday while working out at a gym. Carvalho was a resident of Madhuban Heights who was declared dead on reaching the hospital.
Earlier this month, Ajinkya Lolage, a 19-year-old engineering student from Uttamnagar area in Nashik died while working out at the gym. In both the cases, the cause of death has been unknown.
A craze for fitness is the new fad. A lot of people start going to gyms in the name of fitness which is seen as a trendy thing among youths. The only similarity between Carvalho and Lolage’s death is that a heart attack occurred while they were at the gym.
City cardiologists claim that the number of people complaining of cardiac fatigue is rising. What’s worse, most of them are in a young age group ranging from 20 to 25 years.
According to doctors it is the impulsive and impatient nature of this age group that leads to them going in for a quick fix. “The biggest problem is that anabolic steroids are abused. 90 per cent bodybuilders and people wanting six pack abs use steroids that help them in repetition of exercise for gaining muscle mass. They want to get it done overnight. These steroids can not only cause cancer and liver problems but a person can get hypertension too. It also leads to water retention, blood thickening and may lead to strokes and heart attacks. Patients who have family history of sudden cardiac deaths and falling unconscious, should not indulge in high intensity workouts without their doctor’s consultation,” said Dr Kaushal Chhatrapati, consulting interventional cardiologist at Saifee hospital.
Dr Ameya Udyavar, consulting cardiologist, said “to improve overall fitness and prevent cardiac problems and improve cardiac function, one needs to perform aerobic exercise like swimming, running, jogging and brisk walking. These exercises increase the heart rate while exercising and bring down the risk of cardiac arrest by improving the blood flow. These exercises also reduce blood pressure and blood sugar and improve mood and overall physical and mental fitness.”
He further added, “Weight lifting without combining aerobic exercise can be detrimental. It does not do anything to improve cardiac fitness. Weight lifting done without proper training can cause spine injuries, like slip disc. Also using extraordinary heavy weights to bulk up on muscle mass can increase cardiac arrest risk.”
Dr Ameya also said “It needs to be increased gradually by alternating it with aerobic exercise every other day. Doing yoga asanas may relax your mind and stretch your joints but does not improve aerobic function of the heart.”
Experts say that cardiologists, critical intensivists, oncosurgeons, and physicians are more prone to heart diseases as they don’t get enough sleep, lead a stressful life and have inappropriate food intake.
Dr Sudhir Pillai, Cardiologist at PD Hinduja hospital said it is a myth that a person who is fitness conscious will not have a heart attack. “Fitness has no relation with acute heart attack. There are many reasons for it and the most common one is rapid heart beating. A normal heart beating is 70-80 per minute. While running, the heart beating is 130-140 per minute. Rapid heart beating which needs medical attention is 300-400 per minute,” said Pillai. He said other factors like stress levels, work and life relationship, family history also needs to be taken into consideration in such cases.
On the other hand, trainers believe that it’s an individual’s responsibility to inform the trainers of any abnormality, “If the person feels any chest pain, he or she should not do any exercise on that day. An instructor would not know if there is any chest pain or abnormality, it is the individual’s responsibility to not do any heavy workout on that day,” said Nilesh Kante, master trainer at K11 Fitness Academy, Pune.
“If a person feels abnormal increase in heartbeat while exercising on trade mills, he or she should slow down on it. Also, trainers should do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course in order to train others properly,” he added.