12 Side Effects of Workouts That We Face in the Gym

Physical activity can make a person tougher, improve the efficiency of their brain and other organs, regulate their sleep, help them achieve the ideal shape, and slow down the aging process. However, many beginners and even advanced gym visitors sometimes have unpleasant symptoms that occur due to an increase in physical activity. You should be ready for them in advance.

We at Bright Side have collected 12 of the most common side effects of workouts and prepared some recommendations on how to get rid of them.


Any physical activity, especially if you are overweight or have any serious medical conditions, should be started only under the supervision of an experienced coach and a doctor. You must also pay attention to any changes in how you feel. If you are worried about your condition, don't try to treat yourself — go and see a specialist.

Muscle twitching

  • The reasons: Spasms or muscle fasciculations are caused by exhaustion and an imbalance of electrolytes.
  • What to do? Always drink water during a workout. You should drink at least cool water, but your best choice is a sports drink containing the microelements necessary for the body if the workout is difficult. Also, don't forget to do some stretching after the workout.

Tearing and nasal stuffiness

  • The reasons: Physical activity expands and narrows the vessels in the sinuses. Rhinitis and simple allergies are also possible.
  • What to do? Train in air-conditioned gyms. When outside in the fresh air, try to stay far away from roads.


  • The reasons: Physical activity makes the heart pump more blood and broadens all vessels and capillaries. They activate the nerve endings that send signals to the brain that are interpreted as itching.
  • What to do? Go to the gym regularly: your brain will get used to the trigger and stop reacting to it. The longer the breaks between your workouts are, the more itching you will have. If you have hives, you should see a doctor.

Impulses for defecation

  • The reasons: Kicks and vibrations of the legs resonate with the gastrointestinal tract and literally make all the organs "wake up" and start working. This is most common for runners, and there is even a special term for this: runner's diarrhea.
  • What to do? Eat 2 hours before a workout, and exclude fatty food and anything rich in fiber. Also, don't forget to do a warm-up before running.

Ice-cold belly

  • The reasons: During a workout, there is more blood in the muscles than in the internal organs. Muscles produce a lot of heat that the skin emits. That's why the stomach can be a little cold to the touch.
  • What to do? This is a normal physiological reaction. After you complete the training, the sensation will go away.


  • The reasons: Blood outflow from the stomach and shaking of the internal organs can cause some unpleasant sensations in the stomach.
  • What to do? Don't eat a lot of fiber on the days when you have a workout. And even better, memorize which food causes the sensation, and try not to eat it before you go to the gym. If you feel nauseated, take a few sips of water or a sports drink. You can even drink some soda. Eating candy or chewing gum can also be a good way to increase the level of glucose in your blood.


  • The reasons: A sudden flow of blood to the legs, overheating, or stopping an exercise.
  • What to do? Don't forget to warm up before training and to stretch afterward. You can rest by sitting between the exercises — the blood flows to the heart anyway. In order to prevent fainting and possible injuries, we recommend that you sit down if you feel unwell or even lie down to ensure the blood flows to your head.

Numb toes

  • The reasons: Leg swelling caused by heat emitted from the muscles, tight shoes, and even nerve inflammation.
  • What to do? Move your toes regularly to make the blood flow better. Buy special sports shoes in the correct size.


  • The reasons: Weak vessels, bad diet, and injuries.
  • What to do? Be more careful during workouts, don’t have overly intensive training sessions, and eat more foods rich in vitamin C. The best thing you can do is see a doctor who can recommend which exercises you should avoid.

Pain in the side

  • The reasons: Short-term stomachache (ETAP) is common when people run without warming up first. The blood flow intensifies, and the blood goes from the internal organs to the muscles, but it doesn't happen evenly. The liver and spleen are overflowed with the blood and press on their own walls.
  • What to do? Stop or slow down. Even when running, you can take a breath, press the painful area, and let it go when you breathe out. This will make the blood go faster. Always watch your breath when running.

Dark urine

  • The reasons: This may be caused by dehydration and rhabdomyolysis — the destruction of muscle cells during training.
  • What to do? Drink water during training sessions. If the symptom doesn't disappear, go to the doctor.


  • The reasons: The syndrome of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) starts 24-72 hours after a training session that was much more intensive than usual or was done after a long break. The syndrome is caused by microinjuries and the metabolism products in the muscles. This may lead to pain in the entire body or just the area that was trained. Some people even have tremors (sometimes so bad that it's hard to get up).
  • What to do? Despite the pain, try to move more, and drink a lot of water to get the toxins out of your body as fast as possible. Massage can be very helpful too.

Have you had any side effects after workouts? If you did, how did you deal with them? Share your experience in the comment section below!

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