This may be why your body itch when you exercise

Why your body itch when you exercise

I went for a brisk walk this morning and stopped at 3km because my body was itching so badly. I go through this horrible experience every time I ditch cardiovascular exercises for 4 – 7 days and return to it.

The first time I went for a run in 2015, I thought I had a special kind of disease which I didn’t know about. Weighing 114kg at that time, I decided to shun the gym and hit the road, but less than 50 meters in to my run, my body started itching so badly and I felt so heated up inside.

I stopped abruptly to scratch and that worsened the situation. I almost stripped my clothes completely on the road because the itching was very unbearable and almost got tears  rolling down my cheeks. I stopped my workout and went home. It was a scary experience.

From time to time, during my outdoor workout sessions, I run into ladies who itch so much while working out. One Saturday morning, I saw a 9 year old boy who was brisk walking with his mum, but was crying because his body was so itchy and couldn’t take it anymore.

Some people have complained their body itch when they go on a bumpy ride, jump rope, jog, brisk walk or do any activity that warm and shake up their bodies.

According to UPMC Health Beat, this may be why your body itch when you exercise:

Histamine Response:
Histamine is a compound which is released by cells in response to injury and in allergic and inflammatory reactions, causing contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries.

Research suggests histamine is released during exercise to protect against fatigue, rather than as an allergic response. Histamine works to expand blood vessels in your body but, unfortunately, sends the itchy message to your brain. Taking an antihistamine before running may help, and it’s possible that as you continue your regimen the itching will lessen. While this maybe a going concern for most of us, research has shown it’s nothing worry about.

Out of Practice:
Being out of habit or staying sedentary too long also causes runner’s itch. If you’ve had a long layover between workouts sometimes the capillaries and arteries expand, causing a sensation that your brain reads as itchiness. If you can work through the discomfort, the itching should get better as you build up stamina. Some people who suffer intense itching have used numbing spray.

Skin Sensitivities:
Sometimes the itching can be as simple as an allergic reaction to detergent or clothing material. You may not feel it normally, but sweating can make the reaction worse and cause severe itching. The same holds true for dry skin. Try rubbing on lotion before a workout or changing up what you wear to see if that helps. Look for workout gear made with moisture-wicking fabrics to minimize the amount of sweat that clings to your skin during your run.

This is what I do and it may help you too:

  • Don’t stop what you’re doing at that moment. You may reduce the intensity, but don’t stop.
  • As much as possible, minimize the intense at which you  scratch your body. The harder you scratch, the more you trigger the itching.
  • Hang in there! The itchiness will stop in few minutes.
  • Be consistent with your workouts. Stop taking unnecessary breaks.

Picture credit : fitnaturals


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