The most dangerous time to exercise is when you’re angry or upset. Why? Heavy exertion, such as doing a long run or intense gym workout, while you are stressed or mad triples your risk of having a heart attack within one hour, according to research from Canada’s McMaster University. While it’s a medical fact that regular exercise is good for your heart and may help prevent heart disease, exercising when your emotions are overwrought can be physically harmful. A study found:
Being angry or upset doubled the risk of suffering heart attack symptoms within one hour.
Heavy physical exertion doubled the risk of suffering heart attack symptoms within one hour.
Being angry or upset paired with heavy physical exertion tripled the risk of suffering heart attack symptoms within one hour.
The heart attack risk was greatest between 6 p.m. and midnight and was independent of other factors that could trigger a heart attack, such as smoking, high blood pressure or obesity.
What can you do? Work on ways to modify your emotional reactions to hot-button situations, and postpone that workout until you have cooled off. Emotional stress and physical exertion raise your blood pressure and heart rate, which in turn alters the blood flow in the vessels and reduces the heart’s blood supply. If an artery is already clogged with plaque, it could very well be enough to trigger a heart attack.