Why Does My Nose Run When I Exercise?

Do you ever get that feeling when you’re working out hard, and suddenly your nose starts running like crazy? It’s a pretty common phenomenon, but not many people know why it happens. In this blog post, we will explore the science behind why our noses run when we exercise and provide some tips on how to prevent it!

So, why does my nose run when I exercise? The simple answer is that it’s due to an increase in blood flow to the area. When we exercise, our body temperature rises and our blood vessels dilate in order to help cool us down. This increased blood flow can cause the membranes in our noses to swell and produce more mucus.

Runny nose while sitting on yoga mat

The Body’s Response To Exercise:

There are a few different things that happen to our bodies when we start exercising. Our heart rate increases, and we start to breathe more deeply and quickly. This increased respiration rate helps to supply our muscles with oxygen so that they can work harder. At the same time, our body temperature rises as we start to generate more heat. To help regulate our body temperature, blood vessels in our skin dilate or widen. This allows heat to escape from our bodies and cool us down.

In addition to these changes, exercise also causes an increase in blood flow to the nose and sinuses. When blood flow increases, the membranes in these areas swell and produce more mucus. Mucus is a clear, sticky substance that helps to trap dust, bacteria, and other particles and keep them from entering the lungs. Mucus also helps to moisturize the air that we breathe.

What Causes A Runny Nose During Exercise?

There are two main reasons why you might get a runny nose when you work out:

The “Normal” Reason

 The “normal” reason is pretty simple: When you breathe hard during exercise, the air temperature inside your nose drops. This cold air irritates the blood vessels in your nose, which leads to increased mucus production. That’s why you might notice that your nose starts to run when you first start exercising, but then it gets better as you warm up.

Runner’s Rhinitis

Exercise-induced rhinitis is a little more complicated. It’s not caused by the cold air, but by the chemicals released in your body during exercise. These chemicals (including histamine) cause inflammation and swelling in the blood vessels in your nose, which leads to increased mucus production. 

Exercise-induced rhinitis can happen even if you’re not allergic to anything. While the increase in blood flow and mucus production is a normal response to exercise, there are a few other factors that can contribute to why your nose runs when you work out.

Other Factors Include:

We’ve all been there-you’re mid-run and suddenly, your nose starts running. It’s annoying, it’s distracting, and it can even be a little bit embarrassing. But why does it happen? Why do our noses run when we exercise?

There are actually a few different reasons why this happens. First of all, when we exercise, we tend to breathe more heavily and more quickly. This increased respiration means that the air in our lungs is warmer and moister than usual. When this warm, moist air hits the cooler air outside, it condenses into water droplets – aka “nose sweat.”

One of these factors is allergies. If you’re allergic to something in the air, such as pollen or dust, exercising can cause your nose to start producing more mucus in an attempt to trap the allergens. This can lead to congestion and a runny nose.

Another factor that can contribute to a runny nose during exercise is cold weather. Cold air is dryer than warm air, which can cause the membranes in your nose to become dried out and irritated. This can also lead to increased mucus production.

Finally, if you have a cold or the flu, exercising can make your symptoms worse. This is because when you exercise, you breathe more deeply and quickly, which can spread the virus to your lungs more easily.

Related: Why exercising is making you sleepy

How To Stop Your Nose From Running During And After Exercise:

There are a few things that you can do to help prevent your nose from running when you exercise.

  • If you have allergies, try exercising in an indoor environment with filtered air. You can also take over-the-counter allergy medication before working out.
  • If you’re exercising in cold weather, make sure to cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or face mask to protect your respiratory system from the cold air.
  • If you have a cold or the flu, it’s best to rest and not exercise until your symptoms have resolved.

By following these tips, you can help prevent your nose from running during and after exercise!

When To See A Doctor About Your Nose Running Excessively:

If you have a cold or the flu, your nose running is just part of the package. These viruses cause inflammation and swelling in the blood vessels in your nose, which leads to increased mucus production. This runny nose will clear up on its own most of the time within a week or two.

But if you have a chronic runny nose that lasts for more than three weeks, it could be allergies or another condition, such as:

  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Nasal polyps
  • Deviated septum
  • Chronic sinus infections

If your runny nose is accompanied by other symptoms, such as a fever, headache, or pain in your sinuses, you should see a doctor.

Prevention Tips For Runners And Athletes:

If you are a runner or athlete, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent your nose from running when you exercise.

  • In cold weather, you should cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or face mask.
  • Take over-the-counter allergy medication before working out, if you have allergies.
  • Rest and don’t exercise if you have a cold or the flu. Wait until your symptoms have resolved before starting up again.

By following these tips, you can help prevent your nose from running during and after exercise!

Related: The importance of easing into an exercise program

Conclusion: Why Does My Nose Run When I Exercise?

So, we have looked at the possible causes of why your nose might run when you exercise. It could be due to the weather, allergies, or a deviated septum. If you are concerned about your nose running while you exercise, consult with a doctor to rule out any serious conditions. In most cases, however, there is no need to worry! Just keep a tissue handy and enjoy your workout!