As regular readers know I pretty much ride my bike every day here in Chicago. I say ‘pretty much’ because several years ago, my doctor told me that I shouldn’t be doing my big rides in high temperatures. I said that I felt I was in great shape and my body could handle it. She answered that she said the same thing to her 40-year-old patients. Extreme heat puts the body under special stress and it is not wise to actively exercise in those conditions.
Here I am riding with my dog in the annual Bike the Drive ride in Chicago down Lake Shore Drive. As a Memorial Day ride, the temps rarely hit high extremes.
Now, it seems that now only high temp extremes, but also large intra-day changes can be damaging, according to a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session. It states that large day-to-day swings in temperature were associated with significantly more heart attacks in a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session.
Regarding extreme weather events, Hedvig Andersson, MD, a cardiology researcher at the University of Michigan and the study’s lead author, said, “Our study suggests that such fluctuations in outdoor temperature could potentially lead to an increased number of heart attacks and affect global cardiac health in the future.”
There is a large body of evidence showing that outdoor temperature affects the rate of heart attacks, with cold weather bringing the highest risk, but most previous studies have focused on overall daily temperatures. This new study is among the first to examine associations with sudden temperature changes. Continue reading
Filed under cold weather exercising, Exercise, heart, heart attack, high blood pressure, outdoor exercise, Risky exercise, smoking, Smoking dangers, summer exercise, temperature changes
I personally prefer extreme cold to extreme heat, because you can always add layers and go out, but with heat, no matter how much you take off, you are still uncomfortable once you are outside.
I cruised the web and wanted to share some of the suggestions of others in the same situation.
Our friends overseas at the Daily Mail offered some very down to earth ones, including: “Eat small meals and eat more often. The larger the meal, the more metabolic heat your body creates breaking down the food. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.”
A similar concept came up in my blog item The Brain is an Oxygen Burner explaining why we often feel sluggish after eating a big meal because digestion requires a lot of oxygen that would be going to the brain, but is diverted to the gut.
A recent Wall Street Journal had a very informative story by Ron Winslow about men over 50 having a heart attack while exercising.
Also James B. Lee Jr., the 62-year-old vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., who regularly exercised, became short of breath while exercising and went to a hospital, where he died, his company has said.
This is tragic news and particularly nerve wracking for us men over 50 who work out.
The Journal story makes some excellent points that I want to pass on to you.
I am over 70 years old, retired and I exercise daily. As I have said repeatedly, the mantra of this blog is eat less; move more; live longer. I don’t want to think for a minute that my exercise routine is somehow threatening my life. To the contrary, I am certain that it is extending my days.
“Exercise is not a vaccine against heart disease,” says Michael Joyner, an exercise physiologist at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. While not specifically addressing Mr. Lee’s case, Dr. Joyner noted that risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are increasingly common as people age. Continue reading