Stay away from protein powders, steroids and hypergym if you consider yourself a fitness freak. In fact, doctors advise that you should never exercise “too much and too fast.”
Last week, a TV actor – Siddhaanth Surryavanshi – died during a routine workout.
While Surryavanshi’s cause of death was a heart attack following a gym session, the deaths of several actors, including standup comic Raju Srivastav and TV star Sidharth Shukla, has reignited talks about fitness training and heart attacks.
According to health experts, an excess of anything is bad, be it exercise.
“What you want to know is why there’s a sudden surge in cases like this, and the answer is simple — more and more people are using gyms,” said Dr. Vaibhav Mishra, Director of Cardiac Surgery, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj.
Doctors believe there is greater awareness of the health and benefits of exercise, but people don’t realize that excessive exercise can have negative effects.
“The sudden demise of many popular celebrities while working out in the gym has sent shock waves through our community, and healthcare professionals in particular, prompting them to re-evaluate the possible causes of cardiac arrest in younger people,” said Dr. Sanjeev Gera, Director and Head of Cardiology. Fortis Noida. “Cardiac arrest is usually due to a massive heart attack resulting from underlying severe silent blockages in heart arteries, or could also be due to fast or very slow heart rates. This trend has emerged recently following the stagnant post-Covid lifestyle.”
Additionally, prescribing steroids to get a toned physique comes with a list of side effects that are often ignored.
“Anabolic steroids are performance-enhancing drugs that increase muscle mass and decrease fat while causing a variety of negative side effects,” said Dr. Amit Khandelwal, Director and Head of the Department of Cardiology at Paras Hospital, Udaipur.
Khandelwal explained that such steroids are prescription drugs that are sometimes used without medical supervision to increase muscle mass and athletic performance. Steroids are often referred to as “performance and image enhancing substances”.
In addition, Dr. Mishra von Max that excessive use of “pre-workout protein powder” that contains caffeine is harmful to health.
“While it delays fatigue and makes you exert more effort, it increases heart rate and can cause an irregular heart rate and fatal heart rhythm irregularities,” he said.
How Using Steroids In The Gym Can Harm The Body
Steroid use could have long-term consequences, experts suggest.
Aside from cardiovascular issues, such steroids can cause liver disease, damage to the reproductive organs, significant mood swings, and physical and mental changes in both men and women.
“Aggressive training in the form of bodybuilding and supplementation in the form of steroids are extremely harmful,” said Dr. Mahim Saran, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiology at Medanta Hospital in Lucknow.
The effects of anabolic steroids – used to build muscle, increase performance for strength and endurance, and burn fat – can vary from person to person.
“Some people may experience fluid retention or trouble sleeping, nerve damage, irritability, mood swings, violence or despair, increased sex drive (libido), and skin changes,” Khandelwal said. “They also increase bone growth. Therefore, when used by adolescents who have not yet experienced the growth spurt of puberty, the drugs can induce early bone aging and restricted growth.”
In fact, such steroids are extremely addictive.
A person addicted to anabolic steroids will continue to use them despite unpleasant physical side effects. Endogenous steroids are a necessary part of our immune and endocrine systems.
“It’s not that they’re always bad, but exogenously, anything recommended or consumed should be based on the needs of the individual. Nothing should be taken or done without supervision, whether it is a pattern of gymnastics, exercise, or drugs. Adolescents must avoid addictive substances,” warned Dr. Khandelwal from Paras Hospital.
dr Mishra von Max cited a study by the American Heart Association that was published in a prestigious medical journal. “The study found that people taking anabolic steroids had increased plaque build-up in the coronary arteries. The longer the steroid use, the more plaque there is, the greater the risk of having a heart attack.”
Hyper-gymnastics is bad too
Doctors suspect that if it’s not steroids, hyperexercise may also be one of the reasons for the rise in heart attacks.
Several doctors told News18.com that even moderately heavy exercise can put a person at risk of cardiac arrest if an arterial blockage is present and goes undetected.
Scientifically, the increased need for blood and oxygen during exercise forces the heart to pump harder and more frequently.
While a healthy heart can perform this function efficiently, clogged arteries or other structural abnormalities can lead to adverse cardiac events.
according to dr Sandeep Singh, Director of Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery (CTVS) at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Delhi, “Sudden cardiac death occurs more frequently after intense physical activity when blockages go undetected, and sometimes in the background of an established diagnosis.”
Vigorous activity can potentially cause plaque ruptures or electrical abnormalities in the heart, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
Singh advised that when training, it’s important to avoid “too much, too fast.”
“Too many reps, too much weight or too much running, lifting too fast isn’t helpful, especially as you get older,” he said. “That’s not to say that exercise isn’t healthy. People who lead a healthy lifestyle and watch their diet can keep their daily routine and go to the gym.”
What to do
Heart attacks have also been observed more frequently in younger people under the age of 40 in recent years.
While some studies point to the outbreak of Covid-19 and its long-term side effects on the human body, several researchers have already proven that Indian bodies are more susceptible to heart disease due to our genetic makeup, metabolism and lifestyle patterns.
“A healthy lifestyle and stress management along with blood pressure and sugar control are key to prevention,” said Dr. Saran of Medanta.
Doctors recommend that younger patients who go to the gym also have their full-body exams, including lipid profile tests, done.
“It’s okay if young men or women want to go to the gym, but since we see early onset of coronary artery disease in younger patients, it would be advisable to have a health screening,” said Dr. saran “This review should be mandatory for you if you are over the age of 35 before beginning any aggressive fitness activity.”
One should also avoid exerting oneself in extreme weather conditions, be it too hot or too cold, as it can put more strain on the heart, experts said.
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