The obvious and purposeful effects of any workout are feeling and looking better. After a good sweat or deep yoga session, you feel liberated and strong. Sure, you're sweaty and you probably stink a little, but that's no news to you! But did you know there are other bodily functions at play during your workouts — ones that might not be so awesome to share?
1. Drip, drip, wipe. No, this is not referring to the sweat from your forehead. This is referring to the fluids coming out of your eyes and nose. Because exercise dilates and constricts the blood vessels within the sinuses, you're likely to experience some outward drainage. Watery eyes or the urge to sniffle are common. If you have a stuffy nose or some congestion (no fever, trouble breathing or fatigue beforehand), a few minutes of aerobic exercise might be the push your body needs to flush it out. Click here for tips to keep at least the sweat under control.
2. Got the itch. You might have experienced this before, wondering if you're suddenly allergic to sweat or your detergent. You might be, but there's a more likely culprit at work. This itch usually happens when you've been out of the workout game for a little bit. When you exercise, it sends the capillaries, the tiniest blood vessels, closer to the surface to help with self-cooling. This can cause the skin to feel itchy at first. With time, you'll build up a tolerance and it will become a distant memory. If you deal with itchy skin frequently, try taking an antihistamine before exercise (try these allergy-relieving products) or contacting your doctor to rule out allergies. (via UPMC)
3. Ice, ice, baby. You're sweating waterfalls, your face is flushed, you can smell yourself — you know you're working hard. You lift your shirt to wipe your face and realize your stomach is super cold! Think about it: your legs, heart and arms are the ones doing all the work. Your body shifts the blood flow and energy into those extremities and puts your digestion on the back burner.
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4. "I can't feel my
face toes..." It's all about blood flow. Once the blood is constricted to a certain part of your body, things like nerves will suffer. The issue with toes is directly related to your shoes. If you're pounding the pavement, make sure you have enough toe space. You can test it by balancing yourself on the ball of one foot. When you run and jump, you're putting the same kind of pressure on your foot, spreading the toes. If the shoe change doesn't help, you should ask your doctor about Morton's neuroma (also causes a stinging sensation) or have yourself checked for fluid buildup.
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5. You gotta go! Unfortunately, it's not the cute little tinkle you can take care of quickly — exercise likes to induce the number two. This goes back to the body redirecting blood flow from the digestive system to your working muscles in the legs, heart and arms. That shift can put pressure on the bowels, causing you to run for the bathroom. Pre-workout jitters, excitement or stress can trigger hormones that support this shift and there's the whole shuffling around that shakes things up. If this happens to you often, reduce your fiber intake pre-workout and give yourself more time before morning workouts. Avoiding high fat snacks and caffeinated drinks can help, too. Check out these snacks and tips on timing them. (via Competitor)