In another shocking case of an actor collapsing while working out, actor Siddhaanth Vir Surryavanshi died on Friday at the age of 46 after he reportedly fell unconscious in the gym. Having started his career as a model Siddhaanth was a popular face on TV and was seen on shows like ‘Kkusum’, ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’, ‘Waaris’, and ‘Suryaputra Karn’. Siddhaanth’s death adds to the disturbing list of celebs – seemingly fit and active – passing away at a young age. Earlier this year, comedian Raju Srivastava had also collapsed in the gym while on the treadmill and after several weeks in hospital, passed away. In 2021, southern superstar Puneeth Rajkumar, also 46, died after he had a cardiac arrest while working out in the gym.
Like in the past, this once again led to the question – how much exercising is too much. How do we ensure we are not over-exerting ourselves and what is the actual parameter of being fit? While further details are awaited about Siddhaanth’s death, let’s take a generic look at what doctors say about working out and heart health.
Dos and don’ts for heart health
So how are young stars, who are ‘fit’ falling prey to heart diseases? Talking to us earlier, Dr Viveka Kumar, Principal Director and Chief of Cath Labs, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, said, “What we must understand is there is a difference between being fit and being healthy. Healthy means not just physical fitness, but mental fitness too – keeping stress under control, a decent lifestyle and adequate sleep are all very important.”
What are the precautions to be taken to avoid heart attack
Dr Viveka has these suggestions:
– Not every person who looks fit is healthy. Physical fitness has to be coupled with mental health, adequate sleep.
– Smoking is BAD for the heart. So is tobacco consumption in ANY form.
– Exercising is essential. One should walk more than 10,000 steps in 24 hours.
– Again, over-exercising is BAD. If you are walking more than 30,000 steps a day, continuously, it can be harmful. Exercise regularly, but in moderation.
– If you are walking less than 5,000 steps a day, you are leading a sedentary lifestyle and you are as much in danger of heart diseases as a smoker, even if you don’t smoke.
– Sleeping less than 6 hours and more than 10 hours, regularly, are both bad for health.
– Avoid excessive sugar and salt as they will lead to/aggravate diabetes and high blood pressure, which are directly linked to heart health.
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Exercising the right way
While a sedentary lifestyle is bad for health, so is over-exercising. Dr Manish Hinduja, Consultant-Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, has told us, “If you over-exert at the gym, it leads to a sudden increase in the workload of the heart and in vulnerable patients, it may lead to heart-related issues.”
Dr Hinduja gives us these tips to keep in mind while exercising:
1) Treadmill: Start gradually, walk or run slowly for the first 5 minutes. Have alternate periods of slow and fast running. The treadmill inclination should be minimum and steep running is not advisable. For beginners, you should only gradually escalate on speed and duration of exercise.
2) Weight training: Start with lower weights. Increase the frequency and then increase the weights.
3) Monitor your heart rate while gymming: Your heart rate should be less than 70% of your maximum heart rate (that is 220 – your age). Ideally, your heart rate should not be above 140/150 per minute when you exercise.
4) Check for symptoms: Some people sweat a lot. Sweating alone is not an issue but sweating with chest heaviness, jaw pain, and pain in the left hand – are all markers of heart disease. Get a medical checkup done at the earliest.
5) Other exercises: Post 45, if you are not into gymming, you can do 30-40 minutes of brisk walking, aerobics, playing an outdoor sport or dancing.
Regular heart checkups: Do THESE tests
For those who have a family history of heart disease, Dr Hinduja suggests that they should start routine medical check-ups from the age of 35. “Those who don’t have a family history of heart problems can start from 50. Every five years, routine heart check-ups should be done. After 60, a routine health check-up should be done every 2-3 years. Routine health checks include ECG and 2D echo. The best test to find out blockages in arteries is coronary angiography; and for valves-related issues, it’s 2D echo.”