Exercising with unusual vigor while you are enraged or emotionally distraught could be dangerous for your heart, according to a cautionary new study of the types of events that may trigger heart attacks.
The results indicate that, individually, both strenuous workouts and emotional upheaval increase the likelihood of cardiac arrest, but the risk is greatest if you combine them. The study does not prove, though, that running or otherwise sweating while mad is always inadvisable, only that some workouts and some emotions don’t mix well.
Cardiologists have long known that a wide variety of circumstances can initiate heart attacks in people with cardiac disease. Among the events that are tied to an increased risk of having a heart attack: sunrise (you’re more likely to have one on awakening), spectator sports, earthquakes, air pollution, job stress, holidays and, in rare instances, sex. Extreme physical exertion and extreme emotional distress also often have been linked to sudden heart attacks.
But many of the studies examining heart-attack triggers have been somewhat small and geographically localized, focusing on relatively few people within a single country.