Workout woes: 3 fitness-related side effects and how to fix them

Does your fitness routine make you feel funny?  I’m not talking about knock-knock joke funny, I mean runny nose, side stitches and bubbly bowels, funny. 

If you workout, you may have experienced some of these bizarre exercise-related symptoms.  While exercise improves our cardiovascular health, muscle strength and overall well-being, it also can cause some fitness related frustrations, like that not-so fun moment at mile two when you get the runs from your run.

If you suffer from exercise-induced symptoms, check out these quick fixes to turn your aches and pains into gains.

Leaky Nose. 

If a case of the sniffles comes on every time you workout, grab a tissue because this is definitely an annoying issue.  When exercising, your body requires increased oxygen levels to perform.  This heavy breathing can dry out the nasal passages resulting in an increased production of mucus to lubricate your airway.

The easiest and most obvious cure for a runny nose is to pack a few tissues in your pocket on your next exercise excursion.  If you find that your leaky nose is too much to tolerate, and is really interfering with the quality of your exercise, visit your physician for an exam and ask for a nasal spray prescription.

Side Stitches. 

You’re laced up, stretched out and ready to hit the streets for your evening run.  One problem: you’re only halfway through your jog before a serious side stitch slows you down. 

So what’s really cramping your stomach and your style?  Here are the top offenders:

  • Eat and Run. Foods that are high in fat and fiber take longer to digest, which is why it’s best to avoid them several hours prior to exercise.  Allow your body enough time to absorb your nutrients before your aerobics.
  • Warm-up. Similar to a car, our bodies need a solid warm-up before springing into action.  Let your muscles acclimate to the increase in breathing by spending 3-5 minutes warming up.

Bathroom Burdens.

Exercise can make you feel pooped and like you have to poop - badly.  Sorry, there’s no pretty way to phrase it, and unfortunately it happens to the best of us.  The stomach is stressed while running.  Things are jumping and bumping around, which causes the digestion process to accelerate.  At the same time, blood is being redirected from the stomach to the working muscles, which affects its ability to function properly. 

Dehydration, anxiety and bad food choices can also cause stomach distress.  Luckily, there are ways to help this frustrating fitness side effect, so don’t go flushing your workout down the toilet just yet.

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners, caffeine and foods high in fat and/or fiber
  • Try to plan your exercise around your bowel movements
  • Drink plenty of fluids before you workout.

Guidelines for Guzzling:

  • 15-20 ounces of water 1-2 hours before exercise
  • 8-10 ounces of water 15 minutes before exercise
  • 8 ounces for every 15-20 minutes of exertion

If all else fails, choose a workout location where you have easy access to a restroom.

Know how to stop your symptoms before they start.

Earn it.

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