Ask Dr. Nandi: How Working Out in Anger Can Put You at Risk

Posted at 10:07 AM, Jun 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 10:07:36-04

If you think exercise is a great way to blow off steam, you might want to think again. A landmark study finds working out while angry may be detrimental to your health.

I often talk about the benefits of exercise and how it can help you with things like energy levels, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even some types of cancer. But a recent study found two very specific things that could be quite harmful when working out.

While analyzing data from over 12,000 folks from 52 countries, researchers found that working out while mad or emotionally distressed can double your risk of a heart attack. They also found exercising at high intensities can also do the same. And, get ready for this, when both of these were combined, the risk of a heart attack tripled.

Now, you might be thinking, “oh man I shouldn’t work out too hard”. That’s not necessarily the answer. Unless, of course, you have some pre-existing problem like cholesterol build-up in your arteries. Or you’re out of shape and suddenly decide to hit the gym really hard. That is definitely not the way to start exercising.

So to help you get moving safely, here are my prescriptions:

  1. If you haven’t been active, start off slowly. Keep your pace steady and increase as your endurance improves.
  2. Be careful of your emotions - if you’re really angry and stressed, you may want to avoid the gym. A long walk at a comfortable pace is a better option.
  3. Meditation and deep breathing techniques are great ways to cope with stress and extreme emotions. You may also benefit from anger management classes.
  4. Lastly, know if you have any risk factors for heart disease like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and excess body fat. If so, be sure to speak to your doctor first before engaging in any exercise.

Remember, exercise can help prevent heart disease and is generally safe for most people. Just be sure to avoid intense exercise when you’re angry and find more peaceful ways to cope instead.

This week on the Dr. Nandi Show, too many of us are eating our way to health problems and early graves. Expert guests reveal hidden ingredients in fast-food, what to eat for the sake of our health, dairy foods to ditch to avoid chronic disease and a radical back-to-basics lifestyle plan. Also, a guest who believes butter and other fats are the secrets to weight loss and mental clarity - does Dr. Nandi, MD agree? Tune in this Sunday June 30th at 4 pm to find out!