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Why do I drown when I walk

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Any discomfort around breathing is something that we must take into account. Drowning, high air, asphyxia, and any other breathing difficulties are known as dyspnea. It can be a symptom of various diseases such as asthma or heart failure. Still, it can also be a body response in particular emotional and psychological processes such as anxiety attacks or panic attacks.

Shortness of breath, in general, is not only related to the functioning of the airways and lungs. Often, it is the cardiac capacity responsible for causing a kind of suffocation when walking that invites us to stop and rest to continue, but other times it is the use of bad breath while we are moving. Therefore, the causes of dyspnea can be many, and in this FastlyHealarticle, we explain the most frequent ones. Why do I drown when I walk? Find out!

Why do I choke when I walk: cardiovascular causes


Angina pectoris is chest discomfort that causes breathing difficulties due to insufficient blood flow in the coronary vessels of the myocardium. This is usually caused due to narrowing of the coronary artery, which also causes pain in the chest.

Heart failure

We speak of heart failure when the heart cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. This condition usually appears suddenly and can affect one or both sides of the heart. In addition to choking when walking, it is accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, poor appetite, nocturnal urination, swelling of the extremities, a swollen liver, and an irregular pulse. Pulmonary emphysema, hypothyroidism, arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and acute anemia can cause heart failure.


Arrhythmias are heart rate disorders that affect the rhythm of the heartbeat. These conditions can cause the heart to beat very quickly, known as tachycardia, but it can also cause the heart to be slower, known as bradycardia. The heartbeat can also be irregular, uneven, or skip. Arrhythmias manifest with chest pain, dizziness, vertigo, and, of course, shortness of breath.


Any other heart condition that prevents the heart from pumping enough oxygen-containing blood to the rest of the body can lead to breathing difficulties. The body is not correctly exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. If any of these diseases is suspected, it is necessary to see a doctor.

Pulmonary causes

Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism is a disease caused by a blocked lung artery due to air, fat, blood clot, or tumor cells. This pathology is more frequent after a heart attack, childbirth, brain surgery, long trip by plane or boat, consumption of contraceptive pills, and very long bed rest.

Respiratory diseases

Both asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis are conditions that prevent proper oxygenation of the body and cause extreme weakness accompanied by fatigue, choking, and tiredness when walking. By treating these conditions, the person can regain their breathing capacity.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be caused by chronic bronchitis or emphysema. The main factor responsible for this disease is smoking, to the point that the more a person smokes, the more risk they have of developing COPD. Dry or phlegmy cough, fatigue, respiratory infections, dyspnea, and breathing sounds are its main symptoms.


It occurs when there is a build-up of mucus or phlegm in the bronchioles, the smallest airways in the lungs. It is a more common disease in children, and its leading cause is a respiratory syncytial virus, to which all children are exposed in their first year of life.

Pulmonary hypertension

Blood pressure is the force with which the blood hits the arteries. When this rhythm is solid, we speak of hypertension. Therefore, pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in one of the lungs’ arteries, which forces the right side of the heart to work harder to pick up oxygen. Blood clots, congenital anomalies, heart failure, COPD, HIV, and obstructive sleep apnea are causes of this condition.

Other causes of choking while walking


The consumption of cigarettes causes that, when the person inhales the smoke, instead of carrying oxygen to the body and the heart, they have nicotine, which, without a doubt, considerably impairs the functioning of the respiratory tract and the cardiovascular system, which affects the physical resistance and causes suffocation when walking. Long-term tobacco use can lead to respiratory diseases such as COPD, pulmonary emphysema, bronchitis, and various types of cancer.

Bad breath

Breathing correctly while walking or exercising is essential for our body and muscle to get oxygenated correctly during the effort. We often go days without knowing our breathing, inhaling and exhaling, and how many deep breaths we offer to our lungs. Concentrating on breathing correctly is essential to resist any effort. It would help if you inhaled deeply through the nose to inflate the abdomen instead of the thorax and then slowly exhaled through the mouth.

Stress, anxiety, and panic attacks

Any factor that affects our emotional stability can alter our breathing, heartbeat, and even our vision. For this reason, when we are going through an episode of chronic stress or an anxiety crisis, it is possible that our body, motivated by emotional distress, begins to hyperventilate, which makes it difficult for oxygen to reach all parts of the body correctly and can even make us feel like we are short of air and can’t breathe deeply. This same scenario occurs when a person has a panic attack.

the obesity

It is a chronic disease that causes negative consequences in almost the entire body. One of its most frequent consequences is the deterioration of heart health due to the accumulation of cholesterol and triglycerides, narrowing the arteries and preventing proper blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Obesity is a powerful trigger for heart failure.

Other causes of dyspnea can be:

  • Allergies
  • Altitude syndrome.
  • Breathing in a lot of dust or pollen.
  • Hiatal hernia.
  • Obesity.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I choke when I walk , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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