Sports fanatics, keep your heart healthy on game day

Love sports? For some, that love may be so strong that watching a game can literally stop their heart. If you're a diehard fan, there are a few tips to follow to be sure your ticker is ready for the big game.

Cardiologist Robert Kloner just published a new study on January 31 in which he analyzed cardiac deaths during two American football Super Bowls. He found that deaths due to heart failure spiked for those whose beloved team lost, and ebbed when the team won.

"Fans develop an emotional attachment to their favourite team, which becomes like part of the family," Kloner told science and tech magazine New Scientist, adding that this can put an enormous amount of emotional stress on the heart.

Last year during the World Cup soccer competition, it was reported that watching the event doubled a person's risk for heart attack, for both sexes. A 2008 New England Journal of Medicine study reported high incidences of cardiac emergencies in Germany during the World Cup there.

So can your heart handle your favorite sporting event? Before the big game, you may want to follow the advice of Dr. Al Sears, a nutritionist, physician and author of P.A.C.E.: The 12-Minute Fitness Revolution, who has ten key strategies to avoid having a heart attack while watching an exciting match.

Many tips are common sense, such as exercise, selecting healthy snacks, and eating and drinking moderately, but perhaps a friendly reminder will keep your ticker beating strong. Sears does have some less known tips, including:

- Take co-enzyme Q10, an antioxidant, before the game to reduce risk of heart disease.
- Manage your anger: excessive anger and yelling at the TV will increase your chances of heart problems.
- Avoid gambling or wager an amount you're comfortable losing. Excess adrenaline caused by excitement, worry, or anxiety increases the risk of heart attack.
- Pay attention to heart attack warning signs: dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea. Call emergency medical services if you experience any of these on game day or any day.

To access the study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/clc.20876/abstract;jsessionid=85EA8302AD18B06F2E2AA4E1C9F7492B.d03t02

American celeb cardiologist Dr. Oz offers more tips on surviving game day here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO5WJTlEPHE

 

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