By January 31, 2016 Read More →

FitView – A Runner’s Heart Attack

By Efren Martinez
A Runner’s Heart-Attack

When you look at 38 year old Marla Vargus, you see a young, attractive and healthy woman. Marla’s been a runner for over 16 years. She runs three to four times a week averaging around 15 miles. According to Marla, she also eats right most of the time and takes pride in living a healthy lifestyle. Although Marla doesn’t smoke nor is she obese, she still had a heart attack which caused her to fall and in the processes got pretty bruised up. So after her heart attack you can see why many of us were dumbfounded. Thankfully she’s ok.

According to her doctor, Marla had a piece of plaque that broke off from an 80% clogged artery that stopped her blood flow. Is eating right, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle enough to keep you from having a heat attack, especially at such a young age? Most would say yes, but the truth of the matter is that there are a great deal of variables in each person’s genetic makeup and the lifestyle one lived in their adolescent life. Since we all know the dangers of second hand smoke, I asked Marla, “are there any smokers in your household and or where you raised by parents who smoked, had a job that required you to be in a smokers environment. Marla; “My dad smoked around me when I was a child until I was a teenager both in the car and in the home. I spent a lot of time with him so I was around smoke a lot. I wasn’t around any smokers after I was a teenager.” Only God knows why this build-up of plaque in her artery happened, perhaps it might be part of her genetic makeup or even heredity such as high or low blood pressure can be. My other thought that came to mind was that it’s well known that mostly all endurance runners generally have slightly enlarged hearts. Some more than others. Why? The heart is actuality a muscular organ, in my opinion it’s the most important muscle in our body and it’s the one that keeps us alive. It’s like this, when you exercise your biceps and triceps they get larger. The same thing happens to an extent with your heart when you’re an endurance runner.

This is why some endurance runners have had heart attacks during a run with the cause generally being from an over enlarged heart, a product of so many years of endurance running. But wait, Marla isn’t an endurance runner, she actually prefers short trail runs. Friends, Marla isn’t really any different from most of us who are recreational runners. Like you, she has her annual checkups and lives a healthy lifestyle most of the time.

My advice, if you train regularly, always listen to your body. Your body will let you know most of the time if something isn’t right. Listen and look for these signs, a shortness of breath, dizziness, a lack of speed or endurance from your regular workouts. I’d also invite you to keep a fitness journal like I do. Record the date, your time, distance and how your training session went and how you felt. At the end of the month, study it. If you see any kind of anomalies in it and your struggling to keep up your fitness for no apparent reason. Chances are there might be something going on so speak up and talk to your doctor. Friends, here’s some food for thought. Some theories say that each one of our hearts is preprogrammed in our genetic makeup to have a certain amount of beats per our lifespan. When we race our hearts, by that theory, we are racing to the end of that program much faster. As for Marla she’s doing a lot better, thanks be to God, and I’ll ask you to keep her in your good thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.



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About the Author:

I answered the call back in 1983; mixing Music and Entertainment with an eccentric European style has always come easy for me. In the early 80's I was the Disc Jockey for most of the high school dances in Modesto. In the late 80's I found myself in Hollywood working as a dancer and sound engineer for various professional recording industries. In 1990 my wife of 25 years and I started (The Quake Mobile DJ ®) which was seeded from San Francisco's 1985, The Quake, radio station that only lasted a short while on the air. 26 years later The Quake Mobile DJ is bigger & better than ever in the Entertainment industry. Real-Estate, photojournalism, event promoter, saving animals, travel and fitness are a few other of my interests. I also enjoy motivational speaking to children and to those who are struggling with addiction. In my life, I have always been a very direct person and once I see a goal I won't quit till I've achieved it. But out of all of the above I feel in my heart that the best inspiration in my life is my wife and my love for the faith that I practice. Phil 4:20