Jogging & Heaviness in the Chest
A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your chest while you're jogging can stem from several conditions. But before you start speculating, remember that chest pain, pressure or heaviness can constitute a medical emergency, since those symptoms can signal a heart attack. If you're jogging and you experience unusual feelings in your chest -- heaviness, pain or even mere discomfort -- stop what you're doing and seek medical attention quickly.
Physical activity such as jogging can trigger a heart attack, especially in someone who hasn't exercised much lately, according to Ohio State University Medical Center. Heart attack symptoms include pressure, heaviness or pain in the center-left of your chest. Occasionally, the pain can seem to radiate into your left shoulder or arm, and you may also experience shortness of breath, clammy skin and even nausea or fainting. Heart attacks can kill, so you need to get emergency medical help if you suspect you're having one.
If your physician team rules out a heart attack as a cause of your chest sensations while jogging, your doctor probably will test you for angina. Angina occurs when your heart muscle fails to get enough oxygen from your blood, and symptoms include feelings of pressure and heaviness in the chest, according to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Initial signs of angina can appear in the midst of strenuous physical activity, such as jogging. Once you've been diagnosed with angina, your physician will outline a treatment plan that can include medications and lifestyle changes.
If your physician tells you that the heaviness in your chest you experience while jogging does not represent a sign of heart attack or angina due to coronary artery disease, you may simply have heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. According to Rice University, jogging and running can cause various types of abdominal pain, including pain or burning in your esophagus and stomach. Staying well hydrated while you're working out appears to help this problem, or your physician may recommend medication for it.
Exercise-induced asthma, a form of asthma that primarily appears when you work out, also can cause feelings of heaviness or pressure in your chest, according to the University of New Mexico. Certain conditions -- specifically cold or dry air present when you work out -- tend to trigger exercise-induced asthma in those who are prone to it. If your doctor diagnoses you with exercise-induced asthma, you may be able to control it by jogging only in warmer, more humid conditions. Alternatively, your physician may prescribe an inhaler that can prevent symptoms.
J.M. Andrews has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years. She specializes in health and medical content for consumers and health professionals. Andrews' background in medicine and science has earned her credits in a wide range of online and print publications, including "Young Physicians" magazine.