SPOKANE, Wash. — Bloomsday is just around the corner and with nearly 50,000 people estimated to participate, it is time to prepare and be heart healthy.
The race on May 6 marks the 42nd year of the race. For some, spring running can be the perfect solution for cabin fever.
MultiCare Health System Cardiologist Dr. Ian Riddock highlighted health when it comes to running.
“I want all my patients to participate, I want the community to participate, it’s a great opportunity,” Riddock said. “To get the community aware about exercise and the importance of exercise.”
If you have been cooped up inside, less active than usual, or if you are new to running, a hilly run like Bloomsday might present a challenge.
“There was somebody that collapsed last year, and it was cardiac arrest,” Riddock said. “They were surrounded by nurses.”
While the doctor said those types of incidents are rare, they have become more common as a running craze has kicked in over the past two decades.
The cardiologist suggests runners be smart and know their physical limits before lacing up those running shoes.
“If you’re somebody that just decides to go out and do the Bloomsday and really have not done a lot before you may want to talk to somebody,” Riddock said.
It may even be an opportune time for a checkup.
If you are an athlete between the age of 40 and 50, or if you are at risk for heart disease, Riddock recommends you talk to your doctor about a coronary artery calcium screening. The screening is a sophisticated test that is much better at predicting heart disease.
“And then we can work on stabilizing any plaque that is there , so it does not rupture, that's what causes a heart attack,” Riddock said. “It is like a pimple inside of the artery and if it ruptures and forms a clot and that happens during a race that can be bad news.”
The good news, however, survival rates are increasing.
“We are getting to them quicker and we are doing chest compressions and we are getting electricity to them and that is what happened last year,” said Riddock.
As for preventative steps? This year consider learn CPR before the race.
Riddock said it is all about being safe, while getting outside and having fun.
© 2018 KREM