Why Do My Lungs Hurt After Running?
You’re out for your evening run when you start to feel a burning sensation in your lungs. This feeling is common for a lot of new runners, especially in the winters. While you may be worried that it has something to do with your fitness or health, but the actual reason might not be concerning.
The causes that contribute to the pain aren’t severe in most cases, and with the right tips, you can minimize or eliminate the pain. If you’ve wondered why your lungs hurt while you’re running, this article will show you the causes and the solutions.
Why Do My Lungs Have Burning Sensation?
The lungs provide oxygen to our organs and are responsible for removing carbon dioxide from the body. The physical exertion during a jog or run increases the strain on those muscles you use to breathe.
At the same time, exercise, such as running or jogging, requires our body to produce more oxygen. You need to breathe about 40 to 60 times per minute to meet the excess oxygen demand. It can make you feel like you are short of breath and you may begin breathing through your mouth.
When you breathe through your mouth, your brain interprets that as a signal that you are actually experiencing a shortage of oxygen. The brain can then send a signal to promote the production of excess mucus and phlegm and make breathing difficult.
Why Does It Frequently Happen In Winter?
If you have been running for some time, you may have noticed that the burning sensation gets worse in the cold weather.
Normally, our mouth and nose humidify the air that we breathe. But, breathing at a higher pace during exercise causes the process of humidification to not work as efficiently.
This happens more often in winter because the air is drier and so contains less moisture. Without that moisture, the airways become dry and may cause inflammation.
Similarly, air pollution increases the susceptibility to respiratory infections and problems.
Tips to Reduce the Pain:
+ Focus on Your Breathing Patterns
Many people don’t consciously think about their breathing. However, the way you breathe can have a significant impact on your performance.
There are varying opinions on the most effective ways of breathing. Some experts say that breathing via the nose can help your lungs utilize oxygen more efficiently. Others argue that it is easier to breathe through the mouth since it takes less effort and enables you to intake a higher amount of oxygen.
Be aware of your own body’s needs and try out ways to maintain your breathing pace. Once you find the right one for you, stick to that method. Most people tend to breathe through both their nose and mouth, so one is not better than another.
+ Don’t Force Your Breath
At any point, if you feel you are running out of breath, stop. Don’t try to force your body to continue because it may be dangerous to do so. If you are a beginner, start with easy runs and develop a rhythmic breathing pattern.
+ Stay Hydrated
In winters, the first thing you need to do to combat the pain is ensuring you are hydrated before you go for a run.
Being well hydrated combats the outside dry air. You need to make sure your trachea doesn’t get irritated due to dryness or short, frequent breaths. In addition, you can try wearing a mask or scarf while exercising outdoors.
If the sensation in your lungs persists or worsens, consult a doctor as on-going symptoms may be a symptom of allergies, a respiratory condition such as asthma, indigestion, or a cardiac issue.
+ Care for Your Lungs
Since lungs play a critical role in the bodily functions, it is essential to keep them healthy. Avoid activities such as smoking that is detrimental to your lungs.
Take a Deep Breath and Start Running
So take out your best pair of running shoes and gear up for the run. If you’re asking yourself: why do my lungs hurt after running, be sure to follow all the tips, and you will feel a difference.
The more you exercise, the easier it will be for you to breathe. A healthy lifestyle with good hydration will help your lungs and your run.
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Who am I ?
I'm Sam Rondot, the person behind the blog Running Addicted. I'm a French entrepreneur and I'm passionated about running. I started running since 12 years old and have covered 16 marathons (at the point of writing).I enjoy running and the exhausted feeling I have after a long run. I always follow one rule: I try to do my best and run until I can’t. This makes me feel that I can do anything. I know you have that feeling, too. Running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I have ever imagined.Learn more
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