I hate to think about it, but I’m a member of that group of men age 45 or older who are at a higher risk of heart attack. While one of the reasons I cycle is to help keep my heart healthy, I can’t help but think about the Jim Fixx story. Here was a man who was credited with helping to start America’s fitness revolution, yet he died from a heart attack during his daily run. This lesson was reinforced for me again when another apparently healthy cyclist had a heart attack while we were cycling across the country.
I’ve learned that it’s important to know the symptoms of a heart attack and what to do if you think you’re having one. That is why I carry aspirin when I cycle. Taking aspirin during a heart attack could reduce heart damage by helping to keep blood from clotting.
Nevertheless, if you think you’re having a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency immediately. Don’t delay calling 911 to take aspirin. Call for emergency help first, then take aspirin if it is recommended by emergency personnel.