Exercising to Blow off Steam? Why That Could be Risky

The saying is you should never go to bed angry—turns out, you shouldn’t workout angry either.

We’ve all been there: They tell you that when you’re angry or upset, you just need to blow off some steam, right? So you hop on the treadmill and pound your feet to the beat of whatever loud, angry song pops into your head and out of your headphones first. Or you grab some gloves and start pounding your fists into a bag.

Contrary to popular belief, this may not exactly be the best approach.

According to a study done in “Circulation,” working out while angry or emotionally upset may double your risk for having a heart attack. The study collected and analyzed data from more than 12,000 people in 52 countries who had suffered from a heart attack. Researchers discovered that those who had been angry while engaging in some sort of vigorous physical activity tripled their chances of a heart attack.

So what’s the take away here? Exercise is good for your heart, but not so much when you’re hearts already pumping from the adrenaline that comes with anger. Instead, try a leisurely walk to clear and calm your mind, journal about it or just vent to your BFF.

Use this basic mindfulness meditation to practice staying calm and stabilizing your nervous system.

Photo credit: Drobot Dean, Adobe Stock