Why is a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure from exercise healthy for your cardio system, but the same effects from drugs like alcohol and nicotine cause damage?


Why is a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure from exercise healthy for your cardio system, but the same effects from drugs like alcohol and nicotine cause damage?

In: Biology

These are side effects that can point to different diseases.

If you’re out of breathe because you just ran really fast, you know that it’s because you ran fast.

If you’re sitting around doing nothing at all and the same thing happens, you can’t be sure why, but it could mean that doing regular things like sitting down or walking to another room are now taking just as much effort as it would take to run down the block really fast.

And you don’t run really fast all day, so your body has time to recover. If it always takes that much effort to do anything, your body never has time to recover and starts to wear down much faster than it would otherwise.

PSA: I’m not a doctor – I got my degree biomechanical engineering – so please don’t take this as medical advice.

If your heart is beating really hard for a really long time, just like any muscle it’s going to get tired and need rest, it’s just better at recovery than other muscles in your body. If you get a leg cramp, you stop running and limp for a bit – what happens if you get a heart cramp? You die if it’s bad enough.

If your blood vessels have lots of pressure for a really long time, they’ll spring leaks – just like a sprinkler system – if you have too much pressure in the system for too long you’ll spring leaks. Sprinkler leaks? Long weekend or pay someone to fix it. Blood vessels leak? You die if it’s bad enough.

In both cases if you repair the damage or let things rest, they can recover and be used just fine – but if they’re under this stress for too long they can’t recover and repair. Your body does this automatically – when you’re not running, your body is making sure everything is getting repaired and is in a good state. Things that keep your blood pressure high for too long or your heart rate high for too long won’t give your body enough time to do that.

Remember Chris Farley? He had a heart attack after 17 hours of cocaine and hookers. He had a heart cramp and died – the activities and drugs kept his body going too hard for it to rest, so it gave out. That’s what makes some drugs dangerous, and that’s why doctors want to help keep both in a normal range. Normal just means that your body should be able to maintain things in between those high moments.

Alcohol damages your liver, and you get high blood pressure because has [A LOT of blood pass through](https://www.sgihealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/liver-disease-71.jpg) it to be processed, and if it’s damaged there’s basically back-pressure that increases your overall blood pressure.

Lungs also have major blood vessels going through them, and smoking decreases the efficiency of your red blood cells transferring oxygen and carbon dioxide as you breathe, so your body detects the lower levels of oxygen and makes your heart pump faster, to get more oxygen going to the cells in your body.

Different causes, but basically both are abnormal (not usual) instances of high blood pressure, and more importantly they’re chronic (long term, not just a few minutes after you’ve exercised), so they cause strain / damage to the heart too.

Exercise is under your control, you can feel when it’s getting too much, and you slow down or stop, you rest after. Your body enjoys it like a luxurious stretch, there is feedback and growth, and the muscles get stronger.

When you use drugs, they artificially stress your heart and cardiovascular system. It’s like putting yourself into a machine to exercise.”A thousand push-ups? Sure!” Drugs screw with the knobs, you can’t control it, you can’t slow down when it hurts, you can’t stop, you can’t shut it off to rest. There is no useful feedback, so it’s just damage without growth.

Excerise is by ur rules and ball Drugs say screw that we r playing with our ball and our own rules. If u were to invite a drug into ur body let’s say snow (coke) coke is stimant that like most stimulants will give u a faster heart rate. So we just answered 2 questions for the one question

I guess because drugs can make your BP high for real long but exercise is moderate so it doesn’t overpower your organs and stufd. I read sumthin about heart rate variation. Good for your heart to practice switching states hope this helped

The fundamental difference lies in HOW the blood pressure and heart rate is raised.

Rapid heartbeat and high BP which occur during exercise is a physiological phenomenon, a normal body reaction to physical stress. Exercise, especially cardio, is a practise for the heart and blood vessels at pumping blood. It’s like doing practice sets of exams over and over again so that at the end of your practice you’re capable to ace anything thrown at you. Exercising trains your cardiovascular system at pumping blood efficiently under stress (the heart gets better at pumping blood and the arteries become more compliant), so that under normal condition, it becomes a walk in the park. This why you see bradycardia (lowered heart rates) and physiological hypertrophy (non-disease caused increase in size) of the heart in endurance athletes.

What happens due to smoking and alcohol is pretty insidious. Smoking releases carbon monoxide and other chemicals into the blood and alcohol disturbs many enzymatic processes and directly harms the liver, which is the body’s main protein and important chemicals factory. This precipitates many pathological processes which essentially ends up in the heart pumping blood harder against a non-compliant blood vessel system. Which means that the heart is pumping against a high peripheral resistance pathway (narrowed arteries) without much avail. This leads to enlargement of the heart to compensate for the narrowed blood vessels (pathological hypertrophy) but since the blood vessels supplying the heart are still non-compliant and insufficient, the heart ultimately fails.

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