Slow down and control your breathing when you feel the burning sensation.
John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images
When you step onto a treadmill or go out for a jog, an alarming burning sensation in your lungs can cause anxiety. Some people experience the burning sensation during exercise or immediately after a rigorous session. The exercise-induced burn sensation is most common among smokers, ex-smokers and beginners. While it is rarely cause for concern, it is important you identify the cause and seek preventative measures.
Stay Out of the Cold
Exercising in cold temperatures can induce the burning sensation in your lungs. This occurs when you breathe in cold air and your lungs attempt to warm it, which causes dehydration from rapid water loss, according to Kara Gallagher, PhD, an exercise physiologist at the University of Louisville. You may also experience a burning sensation in your throat due to drying of the trachea. The burning sensation is not a cause for concern and can be alleviated by drinking water or wear a light scarf over your mouth and nose during exercise in cold temperatures.
Beware of Asthma
Although burning lungs is not a common symptom of exercise-induced asthma it can be a warning sign when present with other symptoms. If you find yourself gasping for air when you experience the burn, it may be caused by exercise-induced asthma. Other symptoms include coughing, wheezing, rapid heart rate and nausea. Consult a doctor if you suspect you suffer from exercise-induced asthma. The doctor may require a lung function test known as spirometry to make a diagnosis.
When you are new to rigorous exercise or returning from a long hiatus, you are more likely to feel the burn. The intensity of your exercise activity increases your need for oxygen which makes you breathe harder. Breathing heavily through the mouth and nose causes your bronchial tubes and trachea to become dry, which feels like a burning sensation. This feeling only last for a few minutes after completing the exercise. Your lung capacity increases when you perform aerobic exercises regularly which will help reduce the chances of irritating your lungs.
More than a Cough
Acute bronchitis can causes a burning sensation in your chest, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you are suffering from bronchitis, you may also experience coughing, sore throat and wheezing. Acute bronchitis is brought on by a viral infection, but smoking can worsen or prolong the symptoms. Smoking can also cause a lung injury that may only become apparent when you exercise.