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Know When to Call 911 for a Heart Attack

By Sandy Schroeder

As we roll into summer, life is changing, but some critical essentials are not.  We all need to know the symptoms of a heart attack that call for immediate action.  We may need to know this for ourselves, a spouse, senior family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker. 

Here are some symptoms to recognize.  

  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness 
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort 
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach 
  • Chest discomfort (a few minutes or longer, or fullness and/or pain) 

Taking quick action may save your life or someone else's and prevent more damage to the heart. (Also, if you are a female, check with your doctor for possible additional symptoms.)  

Staying Safe 

Heart health is an individual matter and knowing where you stand is critical.  

Do check-ups - Start by seeing your doctor for a complete check-up. If your health numbers and symptoms call for it, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist for additional help. Your doctor can also help you put together plans for a heart healthy diet along with ways to exercise and techniques to relieve stress. 

Trace family history - At the same time, find out as much as possible about the heart health of your relatives. Pass that information along to your doctor to assess additional risks. 

Plot your future course - Take steps to improve your heart health with an outline for exercise, diet and stress. 


Put down that burger and start creating tasty heart-healthy menus. 

  • Limit takeout and franchise foods to once a week or less 
  • Make your farmers market a regular stop 
  • Find the best fresh fish counter available 
  • Check for heart healthy recipe sites 
  • Start using healthy oils such as olive oil 
  • Chuck all of the chips, dips and cookies in the pantry 
  • Stock the fridge with fresh fruit and veggies 
  • Expand your tastes in nuts and nut butters 
  • Learn how to eat healthy when you go to dinner 


Get help to assess how fit you are right now. 

  • Start gradually to walk, run, bike or workout more 
  • Develop a daily plan to exercise for at least 30 minutes 
  • Fit exercise into the most comfortable spots in your schedule 
  • Always check with your doctor before starting new exercise routines 
  • Look for exercises that you really enjoy 


Find ways to make life a lot less stressful  Do a reading on your current stress levels. 

  • Get help if your stress is off the charts 
  • Let go of tension with breathing exercises 
  • Try a brief meditation morning and evening 
  • Make walking, biking or jogging a moving meditation 
  • Try yoga or tai chi to lift the spirit and ease the tension
  • Put soft jazz, rock, country or symphony sounds to work 

Wherever you are in staying heart healthy, value your life and keep right on going. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbus, Ga.

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