As a runner and sportsmen in general, it is very important to maintain a healthy heart that can cope with the exposure of training intensity. A healthy heart may be crucial for everyone and beneficiary in all life situations, but as a sportsmen it is even of more importance.
There are 4 general factors that can damage our heart and increase the risk of heart diseases and even heart attacks. Being able to do something against them and starting to live a healthier life style is really the non-plus-ultra for our heart.
- Excessive consume of alcohol
We have all heard that a glass of red wine or beer a day is good for our health, and that is generally true. If we have a healthy consumption of alcohol, which generally does not exceed 1-2 glasses a day, it is not harmful to our health or heart in particular. However, an more excessive consumption can lead to many problems, such as
- high blood pressure,
- an irregular pulse (heart beat),
- cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the cardiovascular muscles,
- and a cerebrovascular disease, which would damage the brain through ill blood vessels.
Stress is another big issue that can be related to and result in cardiovascular diseases. During emotional distress, the heart rate accelerates and thus increases the blood pressure.
- Inadequate diet
This is probably one of the most common causes for health and also heart issues. The diet is a factor that we come across in all situations of life and several times a day. Thus it is apparent that a wrong or inadequate diet can result in many problems. In general, a healthy mix of different foods, including candy and other “bad” things, is ok and does not harm us. In adequate amounts that the body needs nothing will really harm us. At the same time, eating anything, including apples and other “healthy” foods, in excess, it can become bad for us.
In general, one should be especially cautious with the following foods:
- Fat and grease,
- Red meat,
- Whole-milk cheese,
- and certain desserts.
Even though none of these foods is bad and some even healthy, cheese and eggs in particular, an over-consumption of any of these items can result in heart problems.
- Lack of Exercise
This last but nevertheless very crucial factor for a healthy heart should be no problems to any of us. As runner, sportsmen and -women, I assume that all of us have a healthy intake of exercise and no problems from this point. As a control, it is generally recommended to do sports at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes each. This is the lower end of a good exercise amount, which means less could already be considered a lack of it. It is hereby important to do regular exercises, rather than, for instance, once a week for 90 minutes.
Having a healthy living according to any of these four factors will ultimately increase our health and support our training. Enjoy!
Source: Por Editorial Época, ¨Mantenga sano su corazón¨ (2006)