Back to Top Skip to main content

Is exercise that’s too intensive resulting in your angina?

Navy Hospitalman Kiana Bartonsmith checks a patient’s heart rate at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay in Georgia, one of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s six health care facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel) Navy Hospitalman Kiana Bartonsmith checks a patient’s heart rate at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay in Georgia, one of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s six health care facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Arteries carry oxygenated blood throughout the body including to the heart muscle. Over time, plaque can build up in the arteries, which harden and constrict blood flow to the heart. When the heart does not get enough blood, the body’s response is angina. Angina is experienced as a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest that can also radiate out to the neck, jaw, back, or shoulders. Women may also experience nausea, shortness of breath, or fatigue. Angina can be exercise-induced or caused by other symptoms of heart disease.

“Any time the heart’s demand for oxygen is greater than the supply, there is a chance for angina,” said Dr. Jamalah Munir, a cardiologist at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. “Angina most commonly occurs during physical exertion, such as walking quickly up a hill or flights of stairs.” Increases in blood pressure or stress, abnormally fast heart rhythms, severe illness, or anemia can also raise the risk of experiencing angina, she added.

Preventing coronary artery disease is the goal, Munir said. This means eating a whole-food, plant based diet with minimal animal products, as well as exercising regularly, sleeping well, reducing stress, and refraining from smoking.

Even with these preventive measures, exercise can induce angina even in presumably healthy individuals. “When you exercise, your heart needs more oxygen and nutrients,” said Munir. “If the demand outstrips the supply, the result is angina.”

Someone with angina would experience a dull sensation rather than a sharp pain, which typically comes on gradually during exercise and can improve with rest, she added. Nitroglycerin, a medication that relaxes the arteries and increases blood flow, can alleviate chest tightness and pressure.

“Should you experience persistent angina while at rest or at lower levels of activity, seek medical care immediately for a possible heart attack,” Munir cautioned.

The temptation might be to think that if exercise induces angina, the safest course of action would be to remain on the couch. Munir disagrees, stating that when it comes to daily exercise, it doesn’t have to be intense or done all at once. “Some people complain that they can’t make it to the gym for a full workout, but if they walk for 10 minutes after each meal, that adds up to 30 minutes a day.” Moderate exercise combined with strength training, stretching, meditation, or yoga practice is all important to cardiovascular health, she added.

A physician can test for indicators of coronary artery disease – high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm, or high cholesterol – that contribute to angina. Medications can stabilize or reduce these symptoms when combined with other healthy habits such as regular exercise.

“If the combination of medication and lifestyle changes isn’t effective, invasive procedures such as coronary stents and open heart bypass surgery are options to consider,” said Munir.

To protect health, especially the heart, “dietary and lifestyle modification are the cornerstone of prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease,” she added. “Incorporating small changes into your lifestyle can make a big difference.”

You also may be interested in...

The kissing bug and Chagas disease

Article
8/1/2019
Adult kissing bugs are mostly active in the warmer months, from May to October. Kissing bugs develop into adults after a series of five life stages as nymphs, and both nymphs and adults feed on blood. Kissing bugs feed on humans as well as wild and domestic animals and pets. They can live between one to two years. (Photo by Texas.gov)

Chagas disease comes from a single-celled parasite that lives in the digestive tract of many species of kissing bugs

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Preventive Health

Tick Facts: Dangers at the height of tick season

Article
7/31/2019
A tick like this one, seen at 10x magnification, can spread a number of dangerous pathogens during the warm-weather months. (Photo by Cornel Constantin)

Many diseases are transferred to humans by ticks — Lyme is the most common, but several others, described here, are worth knowing about

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health

Zapping mosquitoes from the inside out

Article
7/29/2019
While chemical mosquito population control measures have been used with some degree of success, they are toxic to other insect populations and to the health of humans. A different angle of defense has emerged, which is genetic modification of the mosquito itself, making it transgenic. Transgenic mosquitoes are unable to transmit a pathogen, such as malaria, due to their altered genetic makeup. (DoD photo)

Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying at summer barbecues. In many parts of the world, they carry pathogens for Zika, dengue, yellow fever and malaria, the most devastating of mosquito-borne diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 440,000 people died in sub-Saharan Africa in 2016 from malaria, contracted from the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Protecting U.S. military personnel who continue to serve in this part of world is critical.

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Zika Virus | Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Preventive Health | Innovation | Medical Research and Development | Deployment Health

U.S., Royal Air Force Aeromedical Evacuation Squadrons train together

Article
7/26/2019
Reserve Citizen Airmen from Joint Base Charleston's 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare a mock patient during a drill inside a C-17 Globemaster III, July 10, 2019. Drills performed while in-flight are to mimic real-life scenarios that the 315 AES may encounter. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman William Brugge)

The C-17 Globemaster III serves as a common platform for medevacs in both squadrons

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability

Men’s preventive health screenings essential for readiness and a lifetime of good health

Article
6/27/2019
Hospitalman Payton Dupuis, a native of Mill City, Oregon, checks veteran Joseph Levette’s blood pressure at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s internal medicine clinic. “Men’s health is a vital part of the mission,” stated Dupuis. “We need a healthy workforce to succeed.” (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

An apple a day helps, too

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

Sexually transmitted infections on the rise in military

Article
6/26/2019
Some sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the military. To increase awareness, members of Team McConnell attend a briefing on STIs at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick)

What you need to know to stay safe

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Men's Health | Women's Health

Mail-in colon cancer screening may end colonoscopy for most

Article
6/19/2019
Army Medicine logo

The best test is the one the patient will do

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health

German allies visit JBSA-Fort Sam Houston on 75th anniversary of D-Day

Article
6/14/2019
Maj. Gen. Gesine Kruger, Commander for the German Bundeswehr Medical Academy (pictured center in the Flight Paramedic Training Simulator) and her delegation observed training and toured the Critical Care Flight Paramedic Course at the Health Readiness Center of Excellence. (U.S. Army photo)

The purpose of this visit was to further strengthen the bonds and interoperability programs between our allied countries or partner nations

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Preventive Medicine techs foil the foe

Article
5/6/2019
The Food Safety Managers Course can positively impact mission readiness. By inspecting food and food service facilities, and if needed, conducting bacteriological analysis of food, water, and ice samples keeps those food and water borne contaminants away. (U.S. Army photo)

The adversary can impact Sailors and Marines everywhere

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

New training prepares Airmen to save lives

Article
5/2/2019
Tactical Combat Casualty Care is a two-day course created by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, and adopted by National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. It teaches life-saving skills and methods proven effective in a combat environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver)

TCCC teaches Airmen to treat injuries until medical care arrives

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Medical Airmen train in Puerto Rico during Vigilant Guard

Article
4/26/2019
Airmen and Soldiers from the 3rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Task Force, Pennsylvania National Guard, evacuate a casualty actor during the exercise Vigilant Guard, at Camp Santiago in Salinas, Puerto Rico. Members of the Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico National Guard worked together to provide joint disaster relief training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tony Harp)

Vigilant Guard is a U.S. Northern Command and National Guard Bureau sponsored event

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness

Medical logistics Airmen enable lifesaving skills at NATO exercise

Article
4/18/2019
Civilian first responders from Romania participate along with Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in a multinational medical exercise drill during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Uniting upwards of 2,500 providers from 39 countries, the exercise is the largest medical readiness event in NATO

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Medical Logistics | Global Health Engagement

Hospital Corpsmen graduate from trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Article
4/17/2019
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kyle Hamlin, an instructor for the hospital corpsman trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, helps motivate sailors during a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

The Hospital Corpsman Trauma Training program furthers the Navy surgeon general’s goal to achieve maximum future life-saving capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

New equipment at Camp Lemonnier improves blood storage

Article
4/10/2019
Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Andrew Kays (right) and Christi Greenwood (left), deployed with the Expeditionary Medical Facility at Camp Lemonnier, receive training on the Automated Cell Processor 215 while Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joshua Paddlety from Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy, as part of implementation of the Frozen Blood Program here, March 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joe Rullo)

Frozen blood, which is stored at negative 70-degrees Celsius, can be used for up to 10 years

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Services Blood Program | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Pacific Partnership 2019 introduces helicopter en route medical care

Article
3/29/2019
A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

The exercise is an important part of disaster risk reduction

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Global Health Security Agenda | Global Health Engagement
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing | Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.