The heart can only take so much — and a new study suggests that the combination of strenuous exercise and high emotions may be too much for it to bear.
In the study, working out while angry or emotionally upset was linked to a more than threefold greater risk of having a heart attack within the hour.
The researchers also looked at exercise and emotional stress individually, to see if each factor, on its own, would affect the risk of heart attack. They found that each of these factors more than doubled a person’s risk of having a heart attack within the hour, according to the study,
The researchers said they “would recommend that a person who is angry or upset [and] who wants to exercise to blow off steam not go beyond their normal routine” and to not exercise at extreme levels.
Both physical exertion and certain emotions can raise blood pressure and heart rate, changing the flow of blood through blood vessels and reducing blood supply to the heart. If a person already has blood vessels that are narrowed by plaque, this could be particularly risky.