5 warning signs of heart problems during exercise

Exercising is good for your cardiac health. But watch out for these signs of heart problems during exercise, and take the right step for your wellness.
Heart attack during exercise
Heart attack cases during exercise are on a rise. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Updated: 18 Mar 2024, 10:46 pm IST
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Daily exercise is one of the best ways to keep our physical and mental health in check. Regular workout sessions or a physical activity in any form is essential for a healthy heart. But over-straining, excessive exercise or not being mindful of your health conditions while exercising can turn problematic. A rising number of heart problems are being faced by people during exercises. It is, therefore, important to be aware of the major signs of heart problems during exercise, to ensure timely treatment.

Is exercise good or bad for heart health?

Exercise is beneficial for overall health. Leading a sedentary lifestyle can put your heart heart at risk, as can factors like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking as well as family history of heart conditions.

According to the American Heart Association, a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three to five times a week may be good for every individual. Exercise helps to release good hormones which are beneficial for health. Anyone who wants to do any high-endurance exercise should undergo screening for preventive health checkups as this can help to gauge heart health and the extent to which these exercises should be performed, says cardiologist Dr Prashant Pawar.

When a new or vigorous exercise regime is begun without any consultation, it may cause severe complications. Sometimes, exercising more than your heart can handle can increase heart pumping, narrowing heart valves, which can further cause heart problems during exercise. During workouts, this extra strain can lead to heart attacks, and in patients who have structural heart problems, it can lead to arrhythmia, which can cause sudden cardiac death.

“In most of these cases, heart problems occur when people perform heart-heavy exercises without prior knowledge or without going through preventive check-ups like 2D-ECHO, ECG, and stress tests, which are essential before any strenuous exercise,” adds Dr Pawar.

signs of heart problems during workout
Heart issues can occur during workout, especially if you are new. Image courtesy: Freepik

Common signs of cardiac problems during exercise

A person may feel constant fatigue, tiredness, chest discomfort, heaviness, or profuse sweating during or after exercise. These could be indicators of a likely heart attack and should not be ignored. Here are some signs of heart problems during exercise that you must take seriously.

1. Chest pain or discomfort

Remember that chest discomfort is different from pain over the chest or associated pain in the left arm or jaw pain, which can be signs of other types of silent heart attacks. “Heart attack symptoms typically manifest as chest pain or discomfort that may spread to the left arm, often accompanied by sweating. These symptoms can be triggered by physical exertion or emotional stress. Patients with diabetes may not exhibit chest pain, but they may experience a silent heart attack,” says the expert.

Signs of heart issues during workout
Save your heart from health issues during workout by taking some preventive measures and by watching out for these signs! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Shortness of breath

You might experience breathlessness that follows chest discomfort while indulging in workouts and that is one of the initial symptoms of a heart attack. This symptom can accompany chest pain or can even occur without chest pain. Feeling short of breath may not always signal a heart attack, but consider it a sign to slow down.

Also read: You can prevent heart attacks by exercising more: Study

3. Feeling of dizziness

Workouts may leave us feeling weary or exhausted, especially if you are new to it. However, you should never feel dizzy or light-headed while working out. Catch that cue, take it as a warning sign and cease exercising immediately.

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4. Abnormal heart rhythm

While exercising, if you sense that your heartbeat is skipping, palpitating or thumping, that could be an indication of a heart-related problem. Seek medical help if you notice abnormal heart rhythm during workouts.

5. Uncomfortable sensations in other parts of your body

Any heart issue arising during a workout can also lead to uneasy sensations in other parts of the body apart from your chest. Some of these symptoms include discomfort or pressure in the arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach. You might also experience pain travelling to different parts of your body from your chest, jaw or neck to your arm, back, or shoulder.

Can you exercise after suffering a heart attack?

Exercising should be a part of your everyday life. Recovering from a heart attack will require you to be physically active. You must take the right precautions to exercise after a heart attack.


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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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