Exercising in cold weather can cause chest pain in some people who have no problems when they exercise in warm weather. When cold wind blows in your face, your heart rate slows down. This decreases the blood flow to the heart and can cause pain.
If the heart muscle is unable to get all the oxygen it needs, it starts to hurt.
While freezing your face slows your heart, freezing your fingers makes your heart beat faster. If you have no history of arteriosclerosis and have chest pain when you exercise in cold weather, check with your doctor to rule out possible heart problems. If you have heart trouble, it is always a good idea to cover your face when you go out on cold days. You can wear a scarf wrapped over your mouth, a knitted ski mask, or a hat with a visor to lower when the wind blows.
Dr. Mirkin is a practicing physician in Silver Spring specializing in sports medicine and nutrition.