Running: Heart Healthy or a Heart Risk?

Was Claire Squires's tragic death at the London Marathon in 2012 proof that running is bad for you? Of course not, and here's why



by Ruth Emmett

Heartbeat illustration

Risk Factors

Use this quick guide from IOC Medical Commission (Lausanne Recommendations) to find out if you fall into one of three at-risk groups

A) Family History
Q. Have any of your first-degree relatives (parent, sibling, offspring) under the age of 50:
Died suddenly and unexpectedly?
Been treated for recurrent fainting?
Had unexplained seizures, drowning or car accidents?
Had any form of heart surgery?

B) Lifestyle Factors
Q. Have you ever been told you have:
High blood pressure? 
High cholesterol?
Diabetes?
Q. Are you a heavy smoker?

C) Symptoms
Q. Have you ever felt dizzy, fainted or passed out when exercising? 
Q. Do you ever have chest tightness, coughs or wheezing during or after a run? 
Q. Have you ever been treated/ hospitalized for asthma? 
Q. Have you ever had a seizure? 
Q. Have you ever had racing of your heart or skipped heartbeats?
Q. Do you tire faster than you would otherwise expect? 
Q. Have you ever been told you have a heart murmur or arrhythmia? 
Q. Have you had a severe viral infection (eg myocarditis or mononucleosis) within the last month?

If you answered yes to any one of these questions, seek your GP's advice before running.


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Discuss this article

Or you could always ask your GP and get an ECG done for free...
Posted: 28/12/2012 at 23:24

mine wouldn't do it for free...I had a blocked branch bundle, but apparently this isn't a big deal on the right side...
Posted: 17/01/2013 at 21:27

There's also the issue my friend has; she has been under a lot of stress for some years, thus developing tachycardia. She started to jog, but not enough to make her better. After the operation, Joanne wanted a Seattle plastic and cosmetic surgery, too, but the time she took sitting in bed has made her drop these fantastic wishes, such as losing weight like this...


Posted: 30/09/2013 at 18:24

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