There is a long-running myth that if you’re older in age, having sex can lead to a heart attack. But is this true? You may have found that as you age, physical activities are a bit more difficult and strenuous, but does this mean you have to give up sex for fear of a heart attack?
Your heart is a muscle, and just like any other muscle in your body, it requires exercise to stay strong. It’s advised that adults should engage in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise to keep the heart and body healthy. And believe it or not, moderate activity doesn’t just happen in the gym – sex is a great form of activity.
The thing is, just as you train in the gym, you need to be mindful of your intensity in bed. A Harvard study found that the average course of sexual activity increased the heart rate to 130 bpm, which is equivalent to 72 percent of a treadmill workout.
If you engaged in vigorous sex, then your heart rate would increase even more.
For someone who is out of shape and doesn’t engage in a lot of physical activity, this can be quite demanding on the heart, especially if a person already has risk factors for a heart attack. Furthermore, there is a lot of adrenaline that rushes through the body during sex which may not occur when gardening or going for a walk.
So yes, it is possible to have a heart attack when from sex. The Harvard study uncovered that for the average 50-year old male, the risk of a heart attack doubles during sex – but this isn’t a general rule and doesn’t mean because you’re over 50 you will experience a heart attack during sex. The study simply revealed that due to contributing factors such as stress on the heart and sex being a physical activity, there is the possibility of a heart attack if other heart attack-related risk factors are present.
To reduce your risk of a heart attack during sex, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to reduce your risk along with keeping your heart healthy. This means eating well, regular exercise at your appropriate level, not smoking, reducing stress, and managing other health conditions such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.
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