Use Your Heart, When It Comes To Chest Pain

Reporter: Shannon Sampson

Web Producer: Jason Bailey

More than one-million Americans will have a heart attack this year. While some come on suddenly, other people will get some warning, often while they're exercising or doing yard work.

But determining if symptoms are serious or not may be difficult. There are five warning signs that you should know about.

Chest pain experienced during exercise is an indicator that something is wrong. Steve Wilson was participating in a spinning class when said he felt a tighness in his chest that did not resemble fatigue.

"It wasn't a pain, but it was a real strong tension that I'd never felt before, I didn't know what to make of it, but I kept on spinning," says Wilson.

Physicians say that continuing the strenuous activity when the pain starts is not the path to take. During physical exertion like exercise or spring yard work that many people first notice a problem.

Doctor Raymond Magorien at Ohio State University's Ross Heart Hospital says whether you're in great shape or just a weekend warrior, there are five workout warning signs that mean you need to see a doctor right away.

Pay attention to unusual shortness or breath and chest pain or pressure.

Dr. Magorien says, "Anything that involves the chest, it's usually the central chest, it may radiate to the shoulder, it may radiate to the jaw, it may go down the left arm or right arm or both arms."

Unusual fatigue can also be a sign of underlying heart disease. Experiencing skipped heart beats, and finally, don't ignore light-headedness or dizziness. Any of these symptoms could mean you have a heart blockage.

That's what happened to Steve.

Just four days after he first felt chest pain, he had angioplasty top open two clogged arteries. Then he went back to the gym and his workout routine, without ever missing a beat.

Especially if you've been hibernating all winter, pay attention to how you're feeling and take frequent breaks.