As any doctor will tell you, regular exercise is a necessity for good health, regardless of your age, gender, or family history. Because of the many ways that fitness benefits your health—improved circulation, higher lung capacity, and increased muscle tone to name a few—it should make you feel good. Still, there are some strange effects that exercise can have, causing you to wonder if you are on the right track with your workout routine. If physical activity has you feeling truly wiped out with symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, or lightheadedness, you should talk to a doctor before continuing your workouts. However, when it comes to the after-effects of exercise below, you can take steps on your own to boost your post-workout bliss.
You have a sweet tooth
Because you burn lots of calories in a short period of time when you complete a moderate to vigorous workout, you might find yourself feeling hungry once you cool down. For many people, exercise can bring on an intense craving for sweets, which might cause temptation to undo the effects of a workout with a big cookie or slice of cake. Instead of reaching for these sweet treats, you can battle your sweet tooth with more nourishing snacks like smoothies or whole fruit. Chocolate milk is also a great way to replenish after a workout, since it will deliver the sugar you crave with lots of protein, good fats, calcium, and vitamin D. It is okay to reach for sugar after a workout, but it should be sugar with some substance.
You have side-splitting cramps
A side stitch might not wait until after your workout; many runners experience side-wrenching cramps while moving, especially when they are just building up running stamina. It is thought that side stitches are caused by rapid breathing, which can create muscle spasms in the diaphragm. That’s why slowing down your breathing with deep, controlled breaths will help relieve the pain. Avoiding meals right before a workout and staying hydrated can reduce cramping too.
Your face gets red
If exercise tends to leave you looking like you have a fierce sunburn on your face, you might have sensitive skin that flushes easily. Redness is not anything to be concerned about, but it can be an embarrassing effect with some mild discomfort. Splashing your face with cold water can generally offer relief, but you should talk to your doctor if redness doesn’t subside after about 30 minutes. If your skin irritation is widespread, you might have hives or another type of rash that could require dermatological care.
Exercise should make you sweat. In fact, some people will consider getting sweaty to be a badge of honor following a great workout. Unfortunately, sweat can make you stink. If you’ve noticed that you have a particularly offensive odor after you work out, try taking a quick shower before you exercise or using a different type of deodorant. A prescription deodorant may be appropriate if you sweat more than is warranted from a given workout.
You have a runny nose
One strange sensation that can arise is a sudden runny nose after you exercise, especially if you exercise outdoors. As you breathe in through your nose, you are exposed to a wide range of irritants that can cause your nose to start feeling like a leaky faucet. One fix: Bring your workout indoors. If you do enjoy exploring the great outdoors as you get moving, try using a nasal spray for decongestion.
Before starting any exercise regimen, it’s a good idea to check in with a physician to ensure your safety and wellness. MeMD can help you consult a medical provider without even leaving the house, so nothing will slow you down on your road to fitness.