LoveHer: “Allergic to Exercise”

Delicately purposed for the nation’s Black women; brown girls, black girls; light-skinned, brown-skinned, and dark-skinned:

While on a twelve-mile trail, I had no clue that by the two and a half mile mark, exercise would cause me to experience symptoms of an allergy. My thighs and legs started itching and an uncontrollable sensation ran through my body. Before I knew it, my thighs and legs were covered in welts. The sensation in my body felt like the onset of an allergic reaction. After a Google search, I discovered that I had been dealing with symptoms of exercise-induced urticaria. Exercise-induced urticaria is a condition that causes hives and other allergic symptoms during or after exercise. Hives or “welts” are usually raised and can appear on any part of the body.

What was going on with my body to cause such a reaction? Apparently, as my heart rate increased, my blood flowed faster, and the millions of tiny capillaries and arteries in my muscles began expanding rapidly. The capillaries stay open to allow for maximum blood passage when you’re fit, but if you’re out of shape (in my case); your capillaries tend to collapse, not allowing as much blood to pass through. When your capillaries expand, the surrounding nerves become stimulated and send messages to the brain, which reads the sensation as itching.

This experience was definitely an eye-opener and has motivated me to try incorporating some form of exercise into my daily routine. Some days I may choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator or park further from the entrance to stores and buildings. I find that taking little steps to embrace becoming physically fit will make more of a difference, slowly but surely!



P.S. Keep reasonable expectations of yourself!

American Academy of Family Physicians. (n.d.). Exercise-induced Urticaria | Overview. Retrieved August 2015, from

POPSUGAR. (n.d.). Why Do My Legs Itch When I Run? | POPSUGAR Fitness. Retrieved August 2015, from

LoveHer: “Allergic to Exercise”