The body is an incredible asset that we all have, even if it does work a little differently for each of us. Sometimes it’s an efficient machine and other times it feels like a freaky train wreck. Starting out with any new exercise can take getting used to, especially when unexpected things happen to derail us. While they might seem a little taboo, it is ok to talk about the weird and wacky side effects of exercise.
**When we talk about “intensive” or “hard cardio”, that is in relation to the exertion level on your body, which will have different thresholds for everyone.**
- Undeniable urge “to go” – this one will affect most runners at some point in their training (or on race day), even if it’s a smaller 10k event. The rigorous up-and-down motion that you are subjecting the body to plays havoc with the digestive system. Blood is pumping harder to your muscles that need the oxygen, like legs/arms/heart, and is less concerned with organs like intestines. It sounds bizarre but after a few near-misses you will learn to listen to when your body is serious and when it will “hold on” until you get home. Best advice it to not try a new eating plan in the days leading up to or on event day. Avoid the fatty and high fibre foods.
- You look like a lobster – this is a perfectly normal occurrence when someone has completed a hard run, a spin class, been to Zumba or really any intensive cardio session. It’s simply a case of the blood vessels dilating and carrying more blood to the surface allowing us to sweat efficiently and prevent overheating. Be aware though, if your lobster face is accompanied by diarrhea, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, low blood pressure, or dizziness, then you need to stop the exercise and perhaps see a doctor.
- When you run, so does your nose – another very common situation that can happen during intensive exercise called Exercise-Induced Rhinitis. It is similar to having regular allergies but only occurs during exercises such as running. Many of us experience the congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itchiness when hitting the pavement or treadmill. Thankfully it can be treated by many of the same over-the-counter methods used by regular allergy sufferers, or just pack more tissues when you exercise next.
- Eek, you’ve got a black toe – Those poor little toes can really get beat up when going for a run, boxercise, netball, or any activity that requires the foot to be repetitively forced into the toe-box of a shoe. By keeping toenails neatly clipped and wearing the correct fitting shoes and socks you can reduce this bruised and swelling.
- It’s all suddenly clear – exercise gives you that time away from the rest of the world and all its hustle and bustle. It’s the opportunity to be in the moment and meditative. This gives the brain the space it needs to be creative and explore it’s potential. Every day people come back from the gym with a new clarity around a situation that has been hounding the team at work. The adrenaline, endorphins, dopamine and serotonin released during exercise create a more inspired workplace and happier life.