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Track your heart health

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Cardiac monitoring is essential if you are engaging in a regular exercise workout in the gym, says Dr Brajesh Kumar Kunwar

While most people understand that monitoring their heart rate is an important part of any workout, many do not precisely understand why. If you are going to engage in a regular exercise workout, it would be best to be aware of the reasons why cardiac monitoring is necessary.
Cardiovascular output refers to the result of two aspects, the heart rate and the stroke volume. The heart rate is the number of times your heart beats every minute. The stroke volume, on the other hand, is the volume of blood that is pumped from the ventricles with every beat. Unlike the heart rate, the latter is not that essential to keep track of during workout.

Why is monitoring your heart rate important?
Monitoring the heart rate is important for two things—safety and success.

When you keep a track of your heart rate all through the exercise, you will be able to ensure the safety of your fitness program. At the beginning, your exercise would make your heart beat 60 to 100 times per minute. Your heart rate, while resting, would only be 40 beats per minute. If you go afar the normal range, you are going beyond the safety parameters of your workout. In such a case, you should slow down gradually and then take rest. If your heart rate is irregular, you must consult your doctor.

A good reason to record your heart rate during exercise is to measure your progress. Doing this will help you achieve your desired goals. When you monitor your heart rate and it does not go beyond your resting heart rate, you will know that you're not working hard enough. This will help you correct your workout to ensure that you will get favourable results from it.

Below are the warning signs one must look out for while working out Electrolyte Imbalance Disruption in the key electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, or calcium, in the body can cause electrical abnormalities in your heart and, in extreme cases, result in a heart attack. As we know, extremely rapid weight loss can cause major issues with swings in body electrolytes; that’s foe for the weight-loss programs. Unexpected weight loss can also be potentially deadly in the form of the ‘re-feeding syndrome', which affects people who suddenly eat or drink in good proportions after conditioning their bodies to a starvation diet.

Exertional Heat Stroke
Exertional heat stroke is a potentially deadly mixture of overheating your system while working out too hard. While there is some evidence that training in hot weather can improve your cardio ability, it’s also true that too much heat, particularly when the body exceeds 104°F, can have a devastating impact on your body. One should watch out if you are suffering from confusion, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, light-headedness, and low blood pressure. If you start feeling these symptoms, or if you notice someone at the gym, who is looking that way, make sure they stop working out and get into a cool place even if they say they’re fine.

Dehydration can be one of the most common conditions which can strike during a workout.  If you are working out in a hot, humid weather or a hot and humid gym, or are you sweating a lot, you are at risk. You are at the risk of dehydration, which occurs when your body loses much more water than you take in.

While mild dehydration is usually manageable, severe dehydration can create dangerous electrolyte imbalances. When the body’s supply of water starts drying up, its concentration of electrolytes increases. Dehydration can make it seem like your body has far more electrolytes than normal. The most important way to prevent dehydration during exercise is to drink plenty of fluids.

Dr Brajesh Kumar Kunwar is Interventional Cardiologist- Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi- A Fortis Network Hospital

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