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If you’ve been inactive for a while or start a new exercise routine, you may notice some strange things happening in your body. These are generally not signs of injury – they’re a sign of your body adjusting to being more active. And while they may feel strange, they should not deter you from working out.

Itchy Legs

You’ve decided to start running- that’s great! But about one mile into your run, you start having an intense itchy sensation up and down your legs, or maybe just concentrated in your quad muscles. What gives?

The itchy sensation is your capillaries expanding to allow for more blood flow. Sometimes the expansion can impact surrounding nerves, causing an itchy sensation. The itch should improve as you become more active. However, if you have a rash or hives after you cool down, this could be an allergic reaction induced by your sweat. So have a doctor take a look.

Side Stitch

This is most often seen in runners and swimmers, and it can be best described as a stabbing pain under the lower edge of your ribs. In the medical world, this is called exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP). The pain goes away when you stop exercising and cool down.  There are many theories about what causes side stitch, but they have not been proven. Your best bet at avoiding side stitch is to ease into your exercise routine gradually. Don’t push yourself too hard too soon.

Shaking Muscles

During lunges, your legs start to shake like a leaf. This shaking can happen in any muscle and is your body’s way of telling you that a muscle is getting fatigued. While working yourself to the point of exhaustion is never a great idea, the shaking or trembling you feel is a good indicator that you have reached your maximum limit. It could be a sign to slow down and take a break. To avoid the shakes, make sure you have had time to recover since your last workout. Try rotating the muscle groups you focus on. So you might focus on legs one day, arms the next, and abs and back the next.


Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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