Saturday, July 16, 2011

Allergic to Exercise?

Yesterday was my first day back to exercising.  I ran and walked according to the Couch to 5K plan.  It is very similar to what I have done in the past to get started running-simply alternating between running and walking to get your body adjusted to running.  Overall I would have to say that I think it went very well.  I was able to keep up without feeling overly winded.  Despite making myself wake up to an alarm (if I hadn't I would not have had time to run), I had enough energy to get through the workout-although after the run I felt exhausted.

What I had forgotten about running, though, was this:  after running for about 5 minutes, my legs itch like crazy!  It starts on my legs and then spreads to my torso.  I try not to scratch, but it is the kind of itchiness that just drives you crazy until you give in and just scratch.  I remember having this from when I have run in the past, but I had forgotten the intensity.  When I run in the winter it never seemed quite as bad-I guess because of the tight fitting pants that I wear in the cold.  But, in this Texas heat, even at 6:30 in the morning, it is simply too hot to consider that.

In the past, I never thought much about the itchiness-right after my run I would get a shower, and it would stop immediately, until my next run.  This time around, though I was curious about why it was happening, and how to make it stop.  I had already broken my skin scratching it on day one, and knew that I certainly didn't need it to get any worse.

So I did what I always do-I googled away.  I found questions concerning itchiness while running on several running message boards.  What I found out is that it is incredibly normal (why hadn't I heard about it before then?), and that it will probably eventually go away or at least be reduced when I get in shape.  It is called exercise urticaria, and it is an allergic reaction to exercise!  How crazy is that!  Taking an antihistamine will mask the symptoms, although, I don't think I need to go that far for treatment.  So the next time someone tells you they are allergic to exercise-they might just be telling the truth!

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