Why Does My Body Start Itching When I Exercise?

We’ve all been there, you’re in the middle of a particularly strenuous HIIT exercise, only to find that you’ve got an insatiable itch on your elbow. If this happens to you regularly, then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Why Does My Body Start Itching When I Exercise?

Many of us will experience itching during exercise, and this can be incredibly annoying and distracting. We’ll often try to ignore it and power through because we don’t want to stop the pace of the workout, or lose balance. 

But why does this very strange symptom happen? And, why does it affect so many people? If you’ve found yourself pondering the question above, then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

We’ve compiled this handy guide that will tell you everything you need to know about workout itch. 

To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look. 

Is It Normal To Itch During Exercise? 

We can guarantee that the reason why most of you are reading this article, is because you want to figure out whether it’s normal to feel itchy when you work out. You want to know whether or not your itchy bod should be a concern, or if you might just be a freak of nature. 

Well, first of all, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s completely normal to feel itchy whilst you work out. Second of all, it’s also something that everyone will experience from time to time. 

Technically, this itching sensation is known as pruritus. This involves stimulation of the nerve cells on the surface of the skin.

These nerve endings are technically known as proprioceptors, which get stimulated whenever you experience something such as an injury, changes in temperature, or reactions to medicine.

The list goes on indefinitely, as there are so many different things that can cause you to experience pruritus, one of them being, you guessed it, exercise. 

What Causes Itchiness During Exercise? 

So, what exactly causes itchiness during exercise, you might be wondering. Funnily enough, this particular kind of itch has a specific name.

Why Does My Body Start Itching When I Exercise?

Itchiness whilst you’re working out is often known as ‘runners itch’. It doesn’t mean however, that you need to be running specifically in order for this to happen. Any kind of physical activity that involves you exerting yourself can cause this particular sensation. 

The good news is that despite being incredibly annoying, runner’s itch definitely isn’t a cause for concern. 

One of the main reasons why you might be experiencing this sensation is because of the increased blood flow levels in your body. When we work out, this naturally causes our heart rate to increase, and subsequently delivers more stimulation in our capillaries. 

As a result, this means that our nerve cells are being stimulated. When our nerves are stimulated, this is what essentially causes the itchy sensation that we commonly experience when we’re working out. 

Running in particular, is a common cause of itchiness purely because it does deliver more blood throughout your body. So the next time you experience this, just know that it’s completely normal. 

In addition to all of this, you might also notice that you’re super itchy whilst working out if you’re new to the whole thing.

If you’re not somebody who used to exercise very much, and lived a sedentary lifestyle, then taking up exercise for the first time will cause your heart to pump super fast, and stimulate your nerve cells as a result.

So, keep on with that exercise routine of yours, and you might notice that you feel less and less itchy as you get fitter and more accustomed to it. 

Some Other Reasons Why You Might Itch Whilst Exercising

We’d like to point out that there are also a few more, additional reasons why you might be experiencing itchiness during exercise. There are a few studies that have been conducted in regards to this, with many pointing out that histamine could be a probable cause. 

When we work out, our body releases this particular hormone, simply because it helps to reduce fatigue. If you’ve been experiencing bursts of energy during your exercise routine that keep you going that extra mile, then you can thank the histamine in your body.

But, this same hormone can also promote the expansion of blood vessels. As you’ll know from reading above, the expansion of blood vessels can cause us to feel itchy. 

In addition to this, you might just be experiencing the effects of a skin condition. Many of us suffer from sensitive skin, and allergies to different materials and chemicals can cause them to flare up.

People with sensitive skin are far more likely to experience runner’s itch, so make sure that you’re steering clear from any allergens that could be causing you issues. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, there are a few different reasons why you might be experiencing itchiness during your exercise routine. The most common reason is stimulation of the nerve cells on the surface of your skin.

As well as this, you might also experience itching because of the release of the histamine hormone in your body.

Finally, you might also be feeling the itch during your workout routine, purely because of the fact that you have sensitive skin. Make sure to reduce any allergens that might be causing this. 

Laura Simmons
Latest posts by Laura Simmons (see all)