Exercise is usually a good thing for our bodies, which thrive on movement and flexibility. However, sometimes exercise can cause problems or bring about injuries if you overdo it or have underlying health conditions you may not know about. If you experience numbness or tingling in your nose, face or elsewhere in your body that does not disappear shortly after you finish exercising, then consult your health practitioner.(Image: m-gucci/iStock/Getty Images)
Sometimes exercises, such as running, can cause vascular changes, which bring about tingling and numbness in the face and extremities. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, increases blood flow through veins, arteries and capillaries. When the blood vessels are unable to expand properly to handle the increased capacity, numbness or tingling may be the result. If you have high blood pressure, it can influence how you respond to exercise. Many doctors recommend walking to help reduce blood pressure; however, if you develop symptoms, such as tingling, numbness or severe nosebleeds, during exercise, stop and consult your physician. Exercising outside in the cold weather is not advised because of the possibility of severe vascular effects.
Raynaud's disease or phenomenon is a disorder that affects the skin's blood supply. The skin's capillaries in the affected area go into spasm. The bodily tissue suffers from a greatly reduced blood and oxygen supply, causing numbness, tingling and pain. Generally, the hands, feet, ears, face and nose are affected. Weather conditions play a large role in Raynauds's disease, and attacks are more numerous and intense during cold weather. Symptoms appear similar to frostbite, with skin color changing to white and then dark blue.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, blood vessels, joints and the internal organs. People with scleroderma develop thickened hard patches on their skin with compromised blood flow. In certain cases Raynaud's phenomenon can accompany scleroderma and is often one of the first signs of the disease. If you experience tingling and numbness in your face, nose, hands or feet after exercise that doesn't go away, see your health practitioner to rule out scleroderma and other related conditions.
Smoking tobacco has a strong effect on the blood vessels, reducing blood flow and sometimes causing tingling, numbness and pain in the extremities or in the face. Capillaries constrict during smoking and, after time, may not return to normal size. This condition impedes blood flow and reduces oxygen to affected areas. When you exercise, increased blood flow may be limited to those parts of the body with damaged capillaries, the result being tingling or numbness.
Extended exercise can cause the body to become dehydrated. When this occurs, blood and oxygen are sent to vital organs, and the extremities often do not receive enough as a result. Drink water before, during and after you exercise to prevent dehydration and to keep your body functioning properly. The rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. In other words, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water each day. Divide this up throughout the day, concentrating on the time you exercise.REFERENCES & RESOURCES University of Maryland Medical Center: Scleroderma -- Symptoms and Complications Wayne State University School of Medicine: Raynaud's Disease