Exciting Games can be Too Much for the Heart

Exciting Games can be Too Much for the Heart
Texas Tech fans, students and members of the Court Jesters band cheer on the Red Raiders before the 2019 NCAA National Championship in Minneapolis. (Ryan Crowe/KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Whether you were watching the Texas Tech game in Minneapolis or here at home, did you feel like your heart was racing?

A lot of people on Facebook say their nerves were shot and their heart took a beating while cheering for the Red Raiders.

We even found a young woman who said that during the game, her Apple watch asked, “Have you fallen?” Another Facebook post revealed her Apple watch said this during the game, “It looks like you’re working out. Would you like to start an indoor run now?”

So, if that could happen to two young, healthy women, could an emotional sporting event be dangerous to someone else?

Dr. Juan Fitz, an Emergency Room Physician at Covenant Health says, “Yes it can. Unfortunately, the faster your heart rate goes up and you have a cardiac history, then you do have a higher chance of having a heart attack or a stroke.”

Dr. Fitz says major sporting events bring all sorts of problems during a game when too much celebrating or rage can lead to injuries. Sadly, he says the highest incidence of spousal abuse occurs during NFL games with the Super Bowl always a top offender.

But he adds a Championship Basketball game like we watched this week is simply hard on the heart. He explains, “If you’re young, you can tolerate it. The only thing you’re going to feel is palpitations, fast heart rate, excitement. If you have a cardiac history, it can actually precipitate heart attacks or strokes. So, we are cautioning people to be very careful when they are watching certain sports.”

Dr. Fitz says if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart issues and you start to feel ill during an emotional sporting event, remember 2 words, “step away”.

He also says don’t add to your risk by drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs. And always watch the game with someone in case they need to call for help.

Because sometimes it’s hard for the heart to remember... it’s just a game.

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