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Working out while angry? Just don't do it, says Dr. Nandi

Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 17:00:10-04

It may seem like a great way to blow off steam, but working out when angry is dangerous for your heart.

Science is showing that heavy exertion while angry is risky for your heart. An international study that involved nearly 12,500 people who had a first-time heart attack found those who exercised strenuously while mad or upset tripled their risk for a heart attack!!

When you get angry the fight or flight response gets ramped up and you get a burst of energy. Stress hormones speed up your heart rate and breathing. Your blood pressure rises and your blood vessels tighten.  This reduces the supply of blood to your heart.  Arteries already narrowed by plaque can block blood flow and this can lead to a heart attack.

This study did find that anger doubled the risk of experiencing heart attack symptoms within an hour. So it’s very important to keep your temper in check - here are my prescriptions:

Partha’s RX
1. When you become angry, try taking a long walk.  It gives you time to cool down and think of ways to handle the situation.  

2. Learn to communicate your needs.  Instead of letting your anger flare up, talk with a loved one about what is frustrating you.

3. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercise, yoga or listening to music.  These all lower stress levels.

4. Regular physical exercise can help in the prevention of heart disease so please don’t avoid it.  Just be sure to avoid strenuous activity when you’re mad or upset.

There are beta blocker drugs but I believe that medications are not the only answer to dealing with anger. Instead you should learn to change your response because life is always unpredictable. Controlling anger can be challenging so consider a therapist or a support group that teaches how to contain or redirect angry emotions.