From Click 2 Houston:
Have you ever wondered whether a stressful sporting event really could affect your health?
Because an exciting game, or, for example, the Houston Astros’ current playoff run, really can play tricks with your heart, said Dr. William Zoghbi, chair of cardiology at Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.
“During a game, there can be a lot of excitement, anticipation and unknowns — and these things can elevate your heart rate and your blood pressure,” said Zoghbi, who is a cardiologist. “But this is a completely normal response.”
So wait, what’s happening inside my body?
It’s the fight-or-flight response: Your heart rate increases when you’re nervous or excited — and it happens during a big game for the same reason our ancestors were able to handle dangerous situations, like a bear attack, the hospital said.
In a lot of ways, your brain and your body can’t tell the difference between a bear attack and a baseball game. Your body just knows you’re stressed, and it’s trying to respond appropriately.
It makes sense.
For most of us, there’s no need to fret.
Watching a game with an elevated heart rate and higher-than-usual blood pressure is fine.
A reason why you might think twice is if you have a preexisting heart condition, such as heart disease or coronary artery disease.
In that case, you don’t want any added stress on the heart. Increased heart rate and blood pressure do cause your heart to work harder.
People with preexisting conditions might feel their symptoms stronger when they’re excited or nervous at a sporting event.
In extreme and rare situations, stressful games can become dangerous for people with stress cardiomyopathy, especially if they’re not aware that they have it.
If you’ve ever been worried about your heart during a big game or event, Zoghbi said it’s best to avoid other unhealthy behaviors, like that drink we referenced above. It’s probably best to refrain from alcohol, because that too can increase your heart rate.
Get more HERE.
Featured image credit: KRBE.