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What to do if there is chest pain during exercise?

Many people suffer from chest pain while doing exercise. Most of them confuse it with heart attack. A heart attack can occur only when the coronary arteries in the heart get blocked and leads to less flow of oxygen. A heart attack may cause pain in different parts of the upper body which includes chest, back, jaw and in other different parts. The pain may start and subside, only to come back after a few minutes. But people must know the difference between a heart attack and chest pain.

People doing regular exercise, often complain about chest pain, after doing exercise for some time. The problem is more frequent to those people, who start doing rigorous exercise, regularly and suddenly. Women are prone to such pains more than men. Hence women need to be more careful about their heart conditions while doing exercise for few hours. However, any heart pain should not be ignored and need immediate medical attention.

Angina or angina pectoris is a pain which originates from the heart. This particular type of pain occurs when there is a lack of oxygen in that area. When this occurs, the concerned person feels a pressure or pain or some tightness in the heart.

There are some additional symptoms of angina which include

  1. Tightness of the jaw or the arms
  2. Feeling of breath shortness
  3. Feeling of fatigue and also nausea
  4. Massive sweating during the exercise

When a person does excessive exercise suddenly, it may cause angina. Most people around the world often mistake this pain as a heart attack. According to a study conducted by the Medical Council, women are three times more likely to have discomfort in the throat and tightness of jaw and pain in the arms. While men may feel a pressure in that area from angina, pain is likely to be more acute in case of women.

Chest pain from angina may also increase if the person is suffering from emotional stress. This type of chest pain is found more in such patients who have a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol or diabetes. It can also happen if the person is overweight for many years and also have a bad habit of not doing exercise for years and then starts doing rigorous exercises. These patients need to be very careful while doing exercise and must increase their work out on a slow and regular basis.

This type of chest pain can be improved by change in certain lifestyles. Even it does not improve after that, one may consult a doctor and go for medication. The changes in lifestyle are mentioned below-

  1. Exercise regularly, and that too, at moderate level
  2. Go for a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight throughout your life
  4. Avoid smoking as much as you can


If a person feels chest pain during exercise, he or she must not neglect it. Proper care can save the person from other types of heart diseases.

Mark Steven

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