You feel like someone is stabbing a knife into your ribs.iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Experts don’t know exactly what causes those sharp, fleeting pains called side stitches, but many believe they’re due to diaphragm spasms triggered by rapid breathing, says Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym. Eating too close to your workout may play a role. And side stitches occur more frequently in novice exercisers.
What to Try: To stop a stitch, slow your pace and take deep breaths while contracting your abdominal muscles. Stretch your arms overhead or to the side. To prevent a stitch: Eat light pre- exercise meals, and wait at least 30 minutes after eating before you work out. Always warm up for five to ten minutes; gradually increase workout intensity.
Your nose is suddenly a leaky faucet.Alex Macro/Corbis
Exercise, especially in cold, dry air, can trigger a runny, congested nose, a condition known as exercise-induced rhinitis. “Increased nasal breathing during exercise dries out the nose’s mucous membranes, which makes the nose secrete more mucus to protect the nasal airway,” says William Silvers, MD, of Allergy Asthma Colorado in Englewood.
What to Try: If your nose is really interfering with your workout, ask your doctor to prescribe a nasal spray, and use it at least 30 minutes before you exercise. Pack plenty of tissues in your pockets.