Running is a great way to clear the mind and destress from effects of everyday life. For those who have trouble falling asleep, running can be a sleep aid by sending the body into a state of exhaustion. Running also stimulates parts of the brain which is responsible for releasing chemicals such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin which create feel-good sensations. These feel-good vibes can contribute to higher self-esteem and a feeling of an overall confidence boost. If sleeping well and an improved mood are not enough to convey the numerous benefits of running, adding burning massive calories to the list will do the trick.
While there are plenty of benefits that are achieved by a regular running routine, there are also a few odd changes that the body goes through that take some time to get used to. Runners that have just started a new routine will notice the body has a strange way of adjusting to long-term running. Though the changes are not life-threatening, here are ten weird things that happen while running.
Runners can experience something known as racer’s cough, but it not a sign of poor health. Marathon runners and even those who have set the treadmill to high speed for the first time may exhibit racer’s cough. This cough does not imitate that of a flu cough but is the result of the increased contraction of muscles that line the lungs. One may also develop a cough when running for long periods in humid and cold environments. Those who suffer from asthma experience a similar condition. Excessive running when one first starts a running routine is the ideal condition to develop the racer’s cough, but covering the mouth with a piece of fabric such as a light scarf can provide some relief.
When a runner pushes the body past the usual workout routine tolerance, it is normal to experience a blood taste in the back of the throat. The bloody taste is caused by red blood cells popping. When red blood cells are strained, they release an iron-containing compound called heme which results in the metallic taste in the mouth. It is also possible for red blood cells to leak into air sacs during extreme conditions. The unpleasant taste should be temporary, but it is important to notice if the sensation happens all the time. The recurrence of a bloody taste could be a sign of a health issue, and one should see a doctor to avoid serious problems.
It is common for people who exercise to have running noses, especially if the exercise is taking place outside instead of inside a gym, and it can get worse during the times of year when allergens are high or under cold climate conditions. The allergens irritate the nasal passages which cause mucus production to increase and the heat generated by running causes the mucus to run down the nose. Some claim that nitrogen dioxide found in car exhaust is a significant trigger because those who exercise inside appear to have fewer occurrences of runny noses. Though a constant runny nose can be annoying, it is not harmful, and it can be managed with minimal effort.
Bowel Movement Problem
Running for long periods of time causes the blood flow to the gut to be restricted which can result in the constant urge to go to the bathroom while running. Sugary foods and caffeinated drinks can make the situation worse. It is recommended to drink energy drinks in small amounts and limit the intake of coffee. A healthy diet that consists of rice cakes and bananas can help fight the urge to go so often.
While running, one may have noticed an itchy sensation in the muscles. Dry skin may be the reason behind the itching, but it could also be the result of capillaries and arteries quickly expanding and stimulating nearby nerves. Thankfully it does not take long for the sensation to go away. To reduce irritation, make sure the skin is well-moisturized before heading out for a run.
It is normal for the head to feel a bit fuzzy after a long run. During the run, the body gradually uses up all the glycogen in the body. Glycogen is a vital substance that helps the brain function properly. To recover from the brain fog, drink a recovery beverage such as orange juice and pair it with a snack to help rebalance blood sugar.
Losing A Few Inches
Though running can help shed some pounds, it can also shed some height from the body, but there is no reason to worry because it is only temporary. The feeling of being shorter and physical change is a result of losing intervertebral disc fluid from the spine whiling running. The body will restore the fluid soon after the run and return the body to its original height.
Some runners have reported how their hearing seems to become sharper and clearer during a long run. They are not just making this up either; hearing can improve while running because of the increased blood circulation that is created by running long distances. The increased circulation also brings nutrients up to the ears.
Strengthening the muscles is one goal achieved by running, but if one is not careful, a pulled muscle can also be part of the process. It is essential to know the body's limits and not be so hard on the muscles while running. When a muscle is pulled, it requires immediate attention. A little massage and few minutes rest will help the muscle recover, and one can continue exercising.
Running long distances like that of marathons, can make the body feel lighter and even bring on a sensation of weightlessness. This feeling is due to the body going through mild fluid loss which will return to normal in a short period. Too much fluid loss will have negative impacts, so it is essential to keep the urine a pale yellow color by drinking at least a liter of fluids before and during a run.