Ever since suffering a massive "widowmaker" heart attack in February, 51-year-old "The Biggest Loser" trainer Bob Harper has been using his platform to speak out about heart-healthy habits, heart attack recovery, and the steps anyone can take to help a heart attack victim. His latest knowledge-drop? The warning signs of a heart attack — including the ones he ignored himself.
"I fainted one time in the gym," Harper revealed during an appearance on the late-night show "Watch What Happens With Andy Cohen" on Tuesday. "I started having these dizzy spells, and I just kind of overlooked them."
Yep, there are other warning signs than just chest pains. Heart attack symptoms include chest discomfort (think: pressure, fullness, or pain), similar discomfort in other parts of the upper body (such as the arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach), shortness of breath, lightheadedness, cold sweats, and nausea, the American Heart Assocation (AHA) reports.
And symptoms differ slightly for men and women: Women can have a heart attack without having experienced any of the common chest pains, and they're more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain, according to the AHA.
Why is it so important to know these warning signs? Because approximately 790,000 people have a heart attack in the United States each year, according to the American Heart Association's 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update, and knowing the signs could mean the difference between life and death for you or another heart attack victim.
Although Harper was lucky and survived despite the odds — during a recent appearance on the TODAY show, he revealed he had only been given a 6 percent chance of survival — the trainer says he seriously regrets not being able to recognize the warning signs sooner.
"[I] just adapted, which was just the dumbest [thing to do]," Harper told host Andy Cohen on Tuesday. "I kicked myself over and over again about that."
He certainly learned from his mistake — and we all can, too.
[h/t ET Online]