When you experience chest pain, several thought processes might begin to take place.
You may wonder if you are having a heart attack. You might also be doing something physically strenuous, and think your pain is associated with that physical activity and not a sign of a possibly dangerous heart problem. The health of your heart is too much important to ignore, so knowing exactly what to do when you experience chest pain while exercising could prove to be a bit of life-saving knowledge.
The First Step – Stop What You Are Doing
When jogging, you begin to feel a tightening or constriction in your chest. Even though you may not be experiencing a symptom of a dangerous heart condition, you should stop jogging immediately. The same applies to lift weights, cycling or performing bodyweight exercises, etc. The activity does not matter, only that you stop exerting yourself physically if you experience chest pains of any kind.
Find a calm and comfortable place to relax and let your breathing return to normal. If your chest pain goes away, that could or could not be a good sign. The physical activity may have caused pain in your chest muscles. Or you could have overstressed your heart, and when stopping, your heart rate returned to normal and the pain disappeared.
Diagnosing Your Chest Pains
How do you tell if the pain in your chest is a sign of heart problems or just muscle soreness? The truth is, it can be very difficult to differentiate those 2 issues. Remember that almost all heart attacks start slowly. You will first feel a very low level of discomfort. You may feel a little pressure or squeeze, or of feeling that you are “full” right in the middle of your chest. It is not uncommon for this pain to come and go, but you should definitely seek medical attention if this experience continues for more than a few minutes after you stop exercising.
Chest Pains with Breathing Problems
If an unnatural lack of breath accompanies your chest pains while you are physically active, this is a classic sign that a heart attack may be on the way. The key is to understand your natural breathing patterns during physical activity. If breathing is more difficult than usual while exercising, and chest pains are present, you should consult a doctor immediately.
Chest Pains and Dizziness
Sometimes merely bending over and rising too quickly can cause you to feel lightheaded. However, if you experience dizziness and chest pains at the same time, especially when you are exerting yourself physically, you should stop exercising immediately. It can be a sign that you may be experiencing a serious heart problem.
Chest Pains Plus Discomfort in Other Parts of Your Body
Physical discomfort while exercising is common. You probably know how different parts of your body feel when you are working out. One thing to look out for when you are physically active is if chest pains are accompanied by discomfort or pressure in your arms, jaw, back, neck or stomach. This combination can predict the onset of a heart attack or cardiovascular condition.
In all cases, 100% of the time, if you feel pain in your chest while exercising or working out, stop what you are doing immediately. Listen to your body. It will send you signals that something is wrong. This may be mild discomfort from muscle pain, or it could be delivering a red alert message that you need immediate medical attention. If you are uncertain if your chest pain is a sign of physical or cardiac stress, don’t take the risk of ignoring the pain. Seek medical attention immediately if you have the slightest idea that your chest pain may be a sign of something other than physical stress.