Can you exercise yourself to death? Is this what happened with TV actor Deepesh Bhan?

The sudden demise of 41-year-old TV actor Deepesh Bhan, who by all accounts led a fit and healthy lifestyle, serves as a reminder that a rigorous fitness routine or abstaining from alcohol and tobacco still do not guarantee a long or healthy life. In fact, if overdone, exercise or diets could end up being more harmful than beneficial. The actor succumbed to brain hemorrhage on Saturday.

Shocked beyond belief, his friends and colleagues cannot understand what went so wrong in the life of a fitness and health freak like Deepesh, that he succumbed to such a sudden and early death. Actor Kavita Kaushik stressed that Deepesh never smoked, nor had alcohol. “He never did anything that could harm his health.”

Giving further insights into his lifestyle, Bhabhi Ji Ghar Par Hai actor Aasif Sheikh says, “Lately he was too much into gymming, running. I had told him that after 40 one has to slow down a little bit. When he started, he was a very fit man. In between he put on weight and I asked him to control weight and keep a check on his diet but it seemed like he had a point to prove. He would workout in the gym for 3 hours despite my warnings. He also told me he skipped meals at night.”

Was Deepesh’s sudden hemorrhage the result of too much exercise?

Deepesh Bhan.

Overdose of exercising

Recently there was a news item about a Bengaluru woman who collapsed in her gym while lifting weights, succumbing to hemorrhage. After this incident, several doctors warned gym goers against lifting too much and for too long. Doctors shared how when a person works out, their blood pressure goes up and this may lead to bleeding in the brain in some people, leading to death.

Risks of weight training

Speaking to ETimes Lifestyle, Dr Nilesh Gautam, Consultant, Interventional Cardiology, P D Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Khar, says it is important for people to take cognizance of the kind of workout they are doing to stay fit. “We need to do more aerobic workout than weight training. If you do more weight training, you are increasing muscle mass, thereby increasing resistance against which the heart has to pump blood into the circulation. This increases your chances of heart attack, abnormal rhythm, swings in the blood pressure. Aerobic exercises like cycling, walking, jogging, swimming help reduce fat content in the body and also tone muscles.”

As per official data, 2% of people who exercise suffer from exercise-associated hemorrhage. Dr Vivek Nambiar, Assistant professor of neurology, head of Stroke Medicine, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, explains, “One of the causes of young stroke (stroke in people less than 45 years) is actually exercise related stroke. Previously fit, well-maintained people with no previous risk factors can have strokes. When we do very high threshold exercises like weight lifting, there can be some changes in the circulation.” Those with certain conditions or inborn error, can rupture aneurysm with heavy exercise. Sometimes heart abnormalities are benign but get triggered due to heavy lifting. “People should be careful lifting weights more than 50 pounds, especially if it puts pressure on the neck,” he adds.

How to spot trouble?

The risks associated with exercise shouldn’t discourage you from exercising. Here are some points to keep in mind when exercising –

Monitor your pulse with digital watches or pulse oximeters. Your oxygen shouldn’t drop and your heart rate shouldn’t cross the permissible levels. The easiest way to calculate this is by subtracting your age from 220. So if you are 40 and your heart rate is exceeding 180, you need to stop. This is your maximum permissible heart rate and you need to bring it down immediately.

With any form of exercise, always incorporate 5-10 minutes of deep breathing and pranayama. It helps you get in control of your breathing. If you notice a change in your breathing pattern, take out time to control and manage it.

Schedule regular screenings and check up appointments with your doctor.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *