Runner’s Problems: Itchy Legs

As I told you guys in my previous post, I decided to take a short workout break over the holidays. Not due to laziness, but I just had to get a few things together and I just could not mentally get into my workouts. This week I started working out again. I’m training for the Hot Chocolate 15K. Yea, I know I’m a little late to start training, but oh well.   Usually when its been a long time since I’ve run when I start back up I have the same issue every time – itchy legs/thighs!  It’s the weirdest thing in the world! It usually subsides within my first week of running consistantly, but it’s still pretty strange. It’s not a rash or allergic reaction. The itchiness seems to happen underneath my skin and scratching doest help at all! I decided to ask the all knowing, all powerful Google for help…

After reading tons of sites and blogs recommending everything from wearing different running gear, to wearing lotion, to seeing a doctor because of a possible allergic reaction to my own sweat, I finally found something on about.com that made sense!

The Cause of Itchy Runners Legs

The most common cause of itchy legs is actually because of what’s happening inside the skin, not on it. When we exercise, the millions of tiny capillaries and arteries inside our muscles expand rapidly because of the demand for more blood. If we’re fit, these capillaries remain open allowing maximum blood passage, but, when unfit and inactive, they tend to collapse, allowing only minimal blood passage (which, by the way, is fine for a sedentary person). The expansion of the capillaries causes adjacent nerves to send impulses to the brain, which then reads the sensation as an itch.

 

Finally an answer!  Unfortunately there is no remedy. I just have to tough it out but I was really glad to find out that I wasn’t alone. Do you have strange/ embarrassing running issues? Need some help? Between me, Alex and Monisha, I’m pretty sure we’ve experienced them all! Ask us a question by commenting below or if you’re a little shy email us as info@sportyafros.com and we’ll help ya out!

Whitney

5 Comments

  1. You know.. I honestly hate the itchy legs. I call it ant or spider legs!! It feels like a spider or a bunch of ants are having a party on my legs!! I hate it..

  2. I guess I’m unfit because that happens to me everytime I do workout. I guess I need to workout more often.

  3. Yesss!! It ALWAYS happens when I have been inactive for a bit! I am so glad there is a scientific explanation for this!It usually subsides after about three consistent workouts but I can always tell when I haven’t been getting it in ;)

  4. I take Claritin at least 1 hour prior to exercising. It works perfectly! If I continue to exercise at least 4 – 5 times during the week, I will not need to take it again.

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