Harvard Health Letter

Safe exercise: Know the warning signs of pushing too hard

Pain and certain other symptoms during exercise are not normal. Red flags fall into four categories: chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and joint pain. Experiencing any of these symptoms during physical activity is a sign that one should stop exercising and call a doctor, such as a primary care physician or a specialist for a known underlying cause. Ignoring symptoms and pushing through an exercise may cause damage to the heart or muscles. 
To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »