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Steep Hills Harmful to Heart Patients

Posted March. 16, 2003 22:37,   


Going on a hike is good for health. But, not for all. A special care should be taken in taking a hike in spring by those who suffer from heart disease or chronic diseases like diabetes or high pressure.

Sudden death occurs during the hike, mostly due to problems with the heart or the blood vessel.

When a heart patient ventures out on a hike, he or she should adjust the pace and level of a hill`s steepness to his or her heartbeat. For example, when a person in 40s, who has not worked out, feels out of breath during climbing, the person should take some rest and check out his or her heartbeat.

It is normal for a person in his 40s to have 95-161 heartbeats per minute. 92-156 is normal for people in their 50s, and 91-153 for those in 60s. The recommendable distance is the one that a person can finish up in an hour.

If a person suffers from high-blood pressure, he or she should avoid venturing out into the mountain early in the morning or at night. A steep hill should also be avoided. Sudden drop in the body temperature during hiking leads to contraction of blood vessel and higher blood pressure. Thus, be sure to keep yourself warm.

A diabetic should start hiking 30 to 60 minutes after meal, and take a trip that lasts for about 45 minutes. Prior to taking the hike, it is wise to let the other people know that he or she is a diabetic.

If a diabetic feels numb in feet, he or she should eye-check his or her feet before or after hiking. When a blister occurs, do not try bursting it, but wait until it does so on its own. Do not wear tight shoes or socks.

After climbing down, if a diabetic feels dizzy or a cold sweat breaks out, he or she should take in something sweat like candies or orange juice.

If a person has a chronic back pain, he or she should take small steps with his knees bent a little as if walking to a rhythm. That way, less pressure falls on the back. Also please move your arms naturally with the upper body straightened up.

Jin-Han Lee likeday@donga.com