So you’ve made up in your mind that now is the time, I’m going to start walking/jogging. I’m getting fit, enjoying nature and about a mile through the trail you start getting an itching sensation. You think oh something has bit me and you start scratching and you can’t stop. The itching becomes so annoying and after you’ve just about scratched all of the skin off of your body you just stop walking and go home. So much for day 1 on the trail or day 1 back on the trail. I know these two words doesn’t even seem like they belong in the same sentence, but it certainly happens and can be very annoying. Don’t worry, you’re not allergic to the outdoors (or maybe you are), but it’s more than likely runner’s itch. After a hiatus from the walking trail I’ve experienced runner’s itch myself the first time back.
There are two reasons that I’ve found why this happens. One being when you start walking the blood flow through your blood vessels and capillaries increase in order to get to the muscles. Someone’s capillaries that’s used to living a sedentary lifestyle have collapsed slightly (which is normal) because they do not require a lot of blood flow, so in order to accommodate the increased blood flow during exercising, the capillaries expand. During that process adjacent nerves are sparked sending signals to the brain that say’s scratch me! To prevent this from happening keep those capillaries open by staying active. Don’t quit!
Some believe runner’s itch is an histamine response to prevent the body from going into exhaustion during the exercise and suggest you take an antihistamine before workout.
Good news is after about the first day or two it usually doesn’t happen again or is much less of a problem. Run on!!