Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can running outside when it is cold give you a chest problem?"
If I run all winter for exercise will I get a problem with my chest? Will breathing the cold air in do something bad to my lungs? I just started running this summer and I'm afraid to keep running in the winter?
First of all, congratulations on just starting to run this summer! Running and other forms of vigorous aerobic exercise are really great ways to stay fit and also to improve your overall heart health. Keep it up! Running during cold weather is completely feasible. Some people find that breathing in cold air does provoke some coughing, but this is usually not severe and it does not mean that you are doing any lasting damage to your lungs. There are some caveats to this generalization, however. In particular, if you suffer from asthma, you may find that running in the cold weather provokes shortness of breath and wheezing and might not be possible. I would recommend that you visit your primary care doctor to get an opinion on this issue. They will be able to make sure there is no medical reason that you should avoid running outside in the cold air. You might also want to consider exploring gym memberships, as you could potentially do your running indoors during the winter and a gym facility. Good luck, and make sure to ask your primary care doctor's opinion on this and on all other general health questions down the road!
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