Be aware of these five common heart disease symptoms.

As a runner, heart disease is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, you’re in great cardiovascular shape and your heart gets stronger with each run, right? Well…heart disease can strike anyone—even runners, if they aren’t careful. February is American Heart Month, making it the perfect time to chat about your most important organ. If you experience any of these warning signs, it’s time to visit your doctor.

Common Heart Disease Symptoms

Shortness Of Breath (When You’re Not Running)

Runners are no strangers to running (pun intended) out of breath. Though your lungs have to work overtime while running, they shouldn’t struggle for breath when you’re not exerting energy. If you experience shortness of breath while walking or during a low-intensity activity, talk to your doctor.

Heart Palpitations

Once again, you’re probably familiar with an increase in heart rate while practicing your sport. But an elevated heart rate or heart fluttering when you’re not active is a warning sign of cardiovascular issues.

Chest Pain

This may sound obvious, but talk to you doctor immediately if you experience a tightness or pain in the chest.

Nausea And Vomiting

You may experience these symptoms while dealing with other issues, like the flu or food poisoning. But if you encounter unexplained nausea and vomiting for an extended period of time, talk to your doctor about your heart health.

High Stats

If any of these numbers are high upon your next doctor’s visit, it could be an indication of heart issues. Aim for numbers in the healthy range, as noted below:

Total cholesterol: Less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)

LDL (“bad” cholesterol): Less than 100 mg/dL

HDL (“good” cholesterol): 40 mg/dL or higher

Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL

Blood pressure: 120/80 or lower

Heart Disease Prevention

All of these warning signs sound troubling, but there are many things you can do to prevent heart disease before it starts, including:

Related:

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Running With The “Silent Killer” Heart Condition HCM

How Much Exercise Is Recommended For A Healthy Heart?