Why do my lungs feel like they’re on fire whenever I try to work out?

We all know that we have felt a burning sensation in the lungs or our airways while exercising at one time or another. This feeling, what causes it?

Your fitness level/activity intensity: If you’re new to exercising, you might need to come off a layoff or increase the power of your activity. This will put a strain on your respiratory system. When taxing your respiratory system, you should be allowed to breathe through your mouth, not your nose. The mucus membranes can dry out from mouth breathing, which can cause a burning sensation.

Air temperature/dry air – Although cold air can feel uncomfortable, it is heated to body temperature before reaching the lungs. Cold temperatures can cause a burning sensation in the body when exercising. Dry air can irritate the lungs and lead to burning sensations.

Illness: An acute condition that affects the lungs or airways (bronchitis or pneumonia) and can cause a burning sensation. The feeling may be intensified by exercise.

Environment: Exercise in an environment high in pollutants or irritants can hurt your respiratory system and may cause a burning sensation.

Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD) – Chronic conditions such as exercise-induced Asthma can cause the airway to constrict during exercise, resulting in a burning sensation.

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Miriam Szymanski