Memberships to gyms and fitness centers have been steadily increasing over the past decade, with 55 million people holding a membership by 2015 and figures continuing to rise. Whether you’re looking to shed a few extra pounds, decrease your blood pressure, or just be more active for overall health, getting regular exercise is a step in the right direction. As you increase your physical activity, you’ll notice many positive changes, but every once in a while, some less than pleasant changes may arise. Awareness of these potential issues is key to prevention, as well as treating them if they do make an appearance.

Skin Conditions

Where there is exercise, there is sweat, and where there is sweat, there can be fungi like athlete’s foot. This appears as a scaly patch of skin accompanied by itching, stinging, and burning. It’s most often found on gym and shower surfaces, aided by warm, moist areas. Ringworm, another type of fungal infection common among avid athletes and exercisers, is also contagious, though primarily through skin to skin contact. It appears as circular patches on the body, also accompanied by itching. Both of these conditions can be bothersome, but thankfully, thanks to Bio-Technical Resources research and developments, they can easily be treated. Plant-derived biotech in particular has given way to modern treatments, like topical steroids – one of the most commonly prescribed treatments to ease the discomfort of fungal infections.

Exercise Induced Asthma

Issues that arise from exercise aren’t always things you catch from contact; they can be a result of physical activity itself. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, better known as exercise induced asthma, is narrowing in the airways resulting from intense exercise. Symptoms can occur during or after activity, and include coughing, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. This is not actually a case of asthma, which is why bronchoconstriction is the more accurate term, though those diagnosed with actual asthma may find exercise to be a trigger. Common treatment includes inhaled medications called short-acting beta agonists which help to open airways, or prevent narrowing if administered before exercise.

Side Stitch

Perhaps the most common complaint among those participating in cardio work is the dreaded side stitch. This is a sharp pain, typically felt just below and to either side of the ribcage. The exact cause of this pain still needs to be definitively determined, but signs point to muscle spasm. The side stitch is more common among those new to exercise, and can also be triggered by cold weather or eating too soon before a workout. The sharp pain may seem like a cause to worry, but what science does conclusively know is that it’s not a threat and is easily solved, much like any other muscle cramp.

Stretching the diaphragm structure will help alleviate the discomfort, as will manual pressure.

The health complaints that can emerge from increased physical activity may be unpleasant, but they’re pretty benign. Getting plenty of exercise offers far more advantages than disadvantages. Keep with your routine – it’s worth it.