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How the internet is helping me to get fit, despite an allergy to exercise

November 16, 2011

Sometimes people joke that they are allergic to exercise, but I don’t think many people realize that you really can be allergic to exercise.

As I’ve reported previously, I’ve begun doing the Couch to 5K training program. After friends reported their good progress with the program on Facebook, I found the instructions online, and decided to try it. Easy.

But once I began the program I soon encountered a problem. I like jogging, but I’m scared of exercising outside when it is cool. Sometimes in the past when I’ve attempted rigorous exercise outside when the weather was even slightly cool I have had an issue with coming out in an insanely intense itch which sometimes swells up into massive hives. I’m not talking about a mild itch, like a mozzie bite, I’m talking about an unbearably painful itch that can cause me to double over in pain, makes me want to tear my skin off, and makes me feel like vomiting. Not fun. This has happened many times over the years, sometimes even when I’ve just been on a brisk walk, but I’ve never known why. I almost wondered if it was all just in my head, but still, the idea of jogging outside made me very nervous.

You can only jog in circles around your lounge room so many times though. If I was going to get fit, I knew I’d have to brave the outside world sooner or later. So this morning I headed out onto the street. It is a warmish late Spring morning, so I thought it would be warm enough for me to avoid my itchy issues. But there was a light cool breeze. In under ten minutes my skin began to prickle. As I headed home, the itch suddenly intensified. As I let myself back into the house I was gritting my teeth in pain and feeling close to vomiting.

Oh, no. Was this going to derail my intended fitness program? I don’t want to be stuck in a gym somewhere, I want to run free outside.

Once the itch calmed down I hit the internet. Had anyone else experienced this, or was I going mad? Was there a known solution?

It was a relief to discover that I am not alone. My symptoms match those of Exercise Urticaria. Even some professional athletes have experienced it – and acknowledge that the pain is intense.

So the bad news is that I may actually be allergic to exercise. But the good news is that taking an antihistamine half and hour before exercise should solve the problem.

Thanks to the internet, I should soon be able to escape the lounge room, and finally get myself fit.

One Comment leave one →
  1. sweetopiagirl permalink
    November 27, 2011 6:08 pm

    Reblogged this on inspiredweightloss.

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