I went for a walk the other day – Tuesday. We woke up early in the morning and walked around our neighborhood for half an hour before I went to work. Unfortunately, my nemesis (I love using that word) came to visit me – itchy legs when walking! Another reason why Fat Guy shouldn’t run!
It happened within the first 6 or 7 minutes of our walk. I was able to push through it and complete a half-hour, but it was sort of painful! This is very annoying, because besides trying to eat healthy on a budget, consistent exercise is what I need in order to reach my goal of losing 100lbs!
Why Do I Get Itchy Legs When Walking?
It happens to me all the time. Whenever I begin a fast-paced walk – for exercise purposes – my legs begin to itch. Then it gets worse and worse, and eventually becomes painful. Sometimes it gets so bad that I have to stop and go back home. Unfortunately, once it gets that bad, slowing down my pace won’t help!
When we used to jog in the park, the same thing would happen. I would try to reduce my pace to walking, but that wouldn’t make a difference. Getting itchy legs when walking or running can be very frustrating for me, since it will sometimes mean that I have to stop exercising! It would be one thing if my body became sore or exhausted, or I just ran out of breath, but this is much worse.
I’m sometimes left standing there with painful, itchy legs, and a bunch of energy!!!
I haven’t been able to find a clear answer to this problem. I wish someone could tell me why I get itchy legs when walking, and what I can do to make it stop.
Odd Facts About My Itchy Legs
Even when I am walking to travel from one place to another (not for exercise), I walk very fast. I sometimes get complaints from people walking with me about my speed – it’s pretty funny to see a short, fat guy with stubby legs moving faster than people who look like Usain Bolt! However, I never have itchy legs when I’m walking at a fast pace for travel instead of exercise.
When I workout using a DVD – Leslie Sansone, Debbie Siebers, Prevention Magazine – or weight training, my legs don’t itch at all. In all of these workouts, my heart rate is higher, I am breathing faster, my body temperature is higher, and I am exuding a lot more energy than when I am simply walking fast; yet, my legs never itch!
I wear the same clothing for my indoor workouts as I do for my walking! Therefore, it has nothing to do with the type of fabric or the fit of the clothing, so we can also rule out an irritant in the detergent we use as well.
Common Reasons For Itchy Legs When Walking
As I’ve asked around and searched for an answer to my problem, I come across the same answers, but I am not sure if any of them fit my case.
Irritant In The Detergents
I don’t think this is the answer in my case for a couple of reasons. First, we wash all of our clothes using the same detergent, but this only happens in my legs. Second, I wear the same pants or shorts for my indoor workouts as I do for my walking sessions.
Increased Blood Circulation
Again, since the itching doesn’t show up when I do considerably more strenuous workouts, I don’t think this explains it either. Plus, most people who give this reason tell you that it will go away after a few minutes or more.
However, it lasts for as long as I walk – sometimes longer! My blood vessels should be swelling to accommodate the increased blood flow during all of my workouts, not just walking.
Body Getting Used To Exercise
Similar to the increased blood circulation reasoning above. Only this time, the common solution is that your body will take a few weeks to adjust, and then after that, you shouldn’t have to deal with the painful itching.
I can go for a month straight of indoor exercise and still have itchy legs when walking! It doesn’t matter if it is my 50th workout in a row or my first in years, my legs will still itch the moment I start walking.
Many people attribute itchy legs to sweat coming out of your pores. Unfortunately, this is another reason that shouldn’t be limited to walking. I used to rub powder on my legs in order to fight the affects of sweat and moisture – it never worked!
Also, my entire body sweats a lot more during my other workouts than it does during walking or jogging.
This is basically an allergic reaction to an increase in body heat. However, according to Wikipedia, it can also be brought on by, “heat from the sun (which could also indicate solar urticaria), saunas, hot showers (reaction to water can also indicate water urticaria), spicy foods which may cause an increase in body temperature or even stress due to blushing or anger.”
None of those other things trigger itching on my legs or any other part of my body, and I don’t get hives or a rash (other common symptoms) either. This is usually treated by antihistamines.
This is where you are allergic to certain foods or medications, and you work out soon after taking one of them. In this case, the stress of the exercise on your body, combined with the ingestion of a “triggering agent” causes one to go into anaphylaxis.
I have never experienced anaphylaxis (allergic reaction) due to any foods, medication, or exercise. The itchy legs are all I have to go on.
What I Have Tried
Here are a couple of things that I have tried in order to stop my legs from itching while I walk:
- Lotion – I was hoping that it was nothing more than dry skin, so I made sure to put lotion or cocoa butter on my legs before jogging. It never worked.
- Powder – Since trying to moisturize my skin didn’t help, I tried other advice that called for powder. Hopefully, the powder would stop sweat from irritating my skin. This had a mild affect on the itching, but couldn’t stop it.
- Hydrocortisone – I use this cream to stop persistent itches. I put this on my legs before walking the other day – as you can see, it did nothing to stop the itching.
The only thing I have left to try is taking an antihistamine. Let’s hope for the best!
photo by tibchris
- Have you ever had to deal with itchy legs when running or walking? If so, how did you deal with it?
- It may not be an itch, but has there ever been anything like this that consistently made it very difficult to work out?
- Is this further confirmation that I shouldn’t run with my friend from church?
© 2011 – 2012, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.