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Do You Worry About Your Heart?

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Do You Worry About Your Heart?

Old 10-25-19, 10:22 AM
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Statistically, more of us will succumb to heart disease than any other cause. We can try to mitigate the odds with our diet and behavior but we can't control genetics.
I smoked those damn cigarettes for 20 years and drank myself into an ulcer and have never had any control of my diet yet I think I'm ok for now. I think if there are no underlying heart issues than it's ok to push one's body which is why I still do the rides I do. I don't see the point of worrying about it, I worry more about getting flattened by some moron who's texting while driving.
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Old 10-25-19, 10:38 AM
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A few warning signs to watch out for while riding:
  • feeling light-headed, dizzy, or fainting
  • very fast racing heart beat
  • chest pain or tightness
These are signs that something could be very wrong with your heart. Get it checked out.
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Old 10-25-19, 10:58 AM
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will go back and read the responses but to answer the OP, yes I think about quite a bit and even slow down sometimes (57)
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Old 10-25-19, 11:01 AM
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A pretty definitive summing up is here.

The best thing you can do is stay in shape.

Oh, and to answer the question, no. I worry about getting smashed by a motor vehicle operator.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:05 PM
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I just finished a book entitled The Haywire Heart - How Too much exercise can kill you, and what you can do to protect your heart.

It's written by athlete cardiologists and Lennard Zinn, who many may know from his books and technical articles on cycling.

It has lots of actionable information for the masters athlete.

If you're a cyclist with concerns about your cardio health, I highly recommend getting a copy. It's available from velopress.

Here's a review of the book from cardiologist and athlete Larry Creswell, MD.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
Why would you assume that?
Rightly or wrongly, I believe that given enough time, any organ will just wear out and stop functioning. Even a Toyota can wear out after 500,000 miles.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:40 PM
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Nope. Everyone in my family dies of cancer. Our hearts are strong.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Sometimes I wonder if and when my mechanical heart valve will need to be replaced. That would suck.
Is it Ti?

If so, you don't have to worry.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl
Nope. Everyone in my family dies of cancer. Our hearts are strong.
A doctor asked if there was a history of heart disease in my family. I told him all the men in my family die from cancer long before they are old enough for heart disease. He was not amused.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by GeezyRider
Rightly or wrongly, I believe that given enough time, any organ will just wear out and stop functioning. Even a Toyota can wear out after 500,000 miles.
I think a well worked, strong heart will outlast a sedentary heart regardless of how many beats those hearts have had.
Stop changing the oil on your Toyota and it won't last as long as one which had proper maintenance.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
I think a well worked, strong heart will outlast a sedentary heart regardless of how many beats those hearts have had.
Stop changing the oil on your Toyota and it won't last as long as one which had proper maintenance.
Absolutely!!
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Old 10-25-19, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GeezyRider
Assuming the human heart can only beat so many times over a lifetime, it is probably a really bad idea to increase heart rate. Oh to hell with it, I'm still gonna ride.
I'm not sure I would assume that, but let's say for argument's sake that it's true.

We also know that raising heart rate for a short time through exercise results in a lower resting heart rate the remainder of the time. So let's compare two hearts: one belonging to a non-exerciser who's resting heart rate is 80bpm. (Higher end of normal range per Mayo Clinic) And one heart belonging to an athlete who works out and for 1 hour a day raises his heart rate to 160bpm, but as a result of this exercise, his resting HR is 60bpm. So, how many beats per day?

Non-exerciser: 80bpm x 60s/hr x 24hr/day = 115,200 beats per day
Exerciser: (160bpm x 60s/hr x 1hr of exercise) + (60bpm x 60s/hr x 23hr of rest) = 92,400 beats per day

Just a rough example, but something to think about.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
A doctor asked if there was a history of heart disease in my family. I told him all the men in my family die from cancer long before they are old enough for heart disease. He was not amused.
Mine wasn't amused either. Then he glanced at the history I had provided and he was concerned. But I'm 52. Most of us don't see 40, so I guess I'm doing ok.

You know it's bad when the head of cancer genetics at Dana Farber Cancer Institute has your family on her personal Christmas card list.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:13 PM
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If you're concerned about it, check with your doctor, especially if you have a personal or family history of heart problems. Otherwise, let your body be your guide.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I just finished a book entitled The Haywire Heart - How Too much exercise can kill you, and what you can do to protect your heart.

It's written by athlete cardiologists and Lennard Zinn, who many may know from his books and technical articles on cycling.

It has lots of actionable information for the masters athlete.

If you're a cyclist with concerns about your cardio health, I highly recommend getting a copy. It's available from velopress.

Here's a review of the book from cardiologist and athlete Larry Creswell, MD.
The issue of exercise-related arrhythmias relates more to the faster end of the spectrum than to your average weekend duffer, who is far more likely to buy it from a coronary thrombosis, to wit, a plumbing, rather than an electrical, problem. So, there's a bit of an apples and oranges issue, which extends to the approach one might take to evaluating or mitigating risk.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:34 PM
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Those in this thread with diagnosed arrythmias or coronary artery disease have reason to be careful in one way or another. The rest of us should not worry about going too hard, because we're probably not going hard enough.

I can't be bothered to look up and link the references, but you can google for them. There is decent evidence that brief periods of intense activity produces better health benefits for the elderly in terms of various metabolic markers, VO2 max etc than does extended moderate activity. And by intense activity I mean maxing out, going as hard as you can, for a minute or two at a time. And the evidence relating to increased incidence of arrythmias among endurance athletes appears to be related not to maximal efforts, but to going hardish - around threshold - for very long periods: we're talking ironman, pro cyclists, multiple marathons, that sort of thing.

It's likely that the best thing you can do for your heart health is to go steady most of the time but make sure you go very hard indeed for a few minutes a couple of times a week. A nice couple of hours ride at recovery pace with a sprint up a decent hill in the middle of it is probably ideal. For the record, I'm 65 and regularly see an HR in the 170s.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
I'm not sure I would assume that, but let's say for argument's sake that it's true.

We also know that raising heart rate for a short time through exercise results in a lower resting heart rate the remainder of the time. So let's compare two hearts: one belonging to a non-exerciser who's resting heart rate is 80bpm. (Higher end of normal range per Mayo Clinic) And one heart belonging to an athlete who works out and for 1 hour a day raises his heart rate to 160bpm, but as a result of this exercise, his resting HR is 60bpm. So, how many beats per day?

Non-exerciser: 80bpm x 60s/hr x 24hr/day = 115,200 beats per day
Exerciser: (160bpm x 60s/hr x 1hr of exercise) + (60bpm x 60s/hr x 23hr of rest) = 92,400 beats per day

Just a rough example, but something to think about.
You and Big John both make perfectly good sense. I was just making an awkward attempt at injecting a little humor into the subject which was probably inappropriate. For that, I apologize.
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Old 10-25-19, 03:23 PM
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I'm nearly 59, vegetarian since 2010 (iirc), eat organic when possible and bike 40+ miles most weeks... pushing the hills for what I'm worth!

Got a bike late 2013 as a hyper tensive clyde... no longer....

Taking good-ish to best care of myself... no worries....
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Old 10-25-19, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by GeezyRider
You and Big John both make perfectly good sense. I was just making an awkward attempt at injecting a little humor into the subject which was probably inappropriate. For that, I apologize.
Aw geez ... it was a popular internet meme some time ago. Supposedly a quote from a doctor.
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Old 10-25-19, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl
Mine wasn't amused either. Then he glanced at the history I had provided and he was concerned. But I'm 52. Most of us don't see 40, so I guess I'm doing ok.

You know it's bad when the head of cancer genetics at Dana Farber Cancer Institute has your family on her personal Christmas card list.
That's some funny gallows humor there.

Originally Posted by JohnDThompson
If you're concerned about it, check with your doctor, especially if you have a personal or family history of heart problems. Otherwise, let your body be your guide.
I know people who's blood work was normal or better, who ended up having significant arteriosclerosis. And also those who had horrible bloodwork, and no blockages at all.

I really do recommend asking your doc about having a scan to assess the status of your cardiac arteries. Why guess based on bloodwork?
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Old 10-25-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GeezyRider
You and Big John both make perfectly good sense. I was just making an awkward attempt at injecting a little humor into the subject which was probably inappropriate. For that, I apologize.
You don't need to apologize. It was a friendly exchange.
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Old 10-25-19, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
The issue of exercise-related arrhythmias relates more to the faster end of the spectrum than to your average weekend duffer, who is far more likely to buy it from a coronary thrombosis, to wit, a plumbing, rather than an electrical, problem. So, there's a bit of an apples and oranges issue, which extends to the approach one might take to evaluating or mitigating risk.
I would think the medical screening process is the same: Start with the basic risk factor screening, then move on to the next level if warranted.

I'm going through this currently, to rule out my PVCs being a symptom of something serious. Blood tests, check. ECG, check. Zio Patch, waiting for results. Stress test, pending. CT catheter, hope it doesn't have to go that far.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:17 PM
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No.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:31 PM
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I think my heart does a good job of protecting itself, by causing me discomfort when it's stressed. My brain collaborates with my heart by throttling my desire for suffering. I'm just along for the ride, no pun intended.
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Old 10-25-19, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
I think my heart does a good job of protecting itself, by causing me discomfort when it's stressed. My brain collaborates with my heart by throttling my desire for suffering. I'm just along for the ride, no pun intended.
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