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It’s safe to say we’ve all hit the gym hard or gone for a personal record-breaking run while angry to blow off steam, but experts have found that this may not be a great idea (to put it lightly).
Specifically, a study published in the American Heart Association’s journal found that being angry could triple the risk of a heart attack during intense exercise, according to The Guardian.
If you’re angry or very upset, you’re already more than twice as likely to start experiencing the early symptoms of a heart attack within an hour. Vigorous exercise has been shown to have roughly the same effect.
“Both can raise blood pressure and heart rate, changing the flow of blood through blood vessels and reducing blood supply to the heart,” Dr. Andrew Smyth, the study’s lead author, said. “This is particularly important in blood vessels already narrowed by plaque, which could block the flow of blood leading to a heart attack.”
In this particular study, patients who were angry or upset during vigorous exercise were three times as likely to show the first symptoms of a heart attack within one hour. This suggests that there is a “crucial link” between mind and body and overall health.
This isn’t to say that you can’t exercise if you’re angry, it just means that you shouldn’t go harder than usual if you are. Since you’re most likely already experiencing a spike in blood pressure and heart rate, your normal workout will already be more intense.
Think about that next time you consider going for your deadlift PR on a day when anger is your pre-workout.