Sensitive Subjects for Walkers

Don't Let Embarrassing Problems Stop You

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Are you the only one? You may find yourself coming up with excuses when friends invite you to go on a walk. You have an embarrassing problem that happens when you walk and you're reluctant to reveal it. Finding out how to prevent it or deal with it creates more problems—who to ask? Should you admit the problem to friends, call your doctor or, as you might have done just now, go online seeking information?

Embarrassing Walking Problems

You've come to the right place. There are many problems that people rarely discuss that keep them from enjoying a walk. You are not alone. There are solutions and tactics you can use to address these problems so you can enjoy walking without worrying.

Runner's Trots

Runner's trots is the term for exercise-induced loose stools. The symptoms range from cramping and nausea to bouts of flatulence and diarrhea during or after your workout. This condition is extremely common, affecting between 20 and 50 percent of distance runners. If you walk fast, you may discover that a higher heart rate can trigger it. You may need to pay close attention to what you eat for the day before your workouts to reduce your risk. You might also plan your walks so you will have a toilet available.

Bladder Control and Urinary Frequency

Bladder control is not just a problem for older adults or women. If you have bladder control problems, there are treatments, and you are definitely not alone. Stress urinary incontinence can result in urine leakage when you are enjoying a walk or workout. There are both conservative treatments such as pelvic floor exercises and urinary control devices as well as surgical solutions.

Urinary frequency problems crop up when you don't have a problem with bladder control, but you need to urinate often. Perhaps you are well-hydrated or feel the effects of caffeine or medications. You may also have an enlarged prostate, diabetes, or other conditions that lead to more frequent urination. There are tactics you can use that still ensure you don't walk while dehydrated. You may need to plan walks around having a toilet available when you are likely to need it.

But what if there are no toilets when you need to go? It helps to learn where you are likely to find a toilet when needed, including overcoming an aversion to portable toilets. If you are out in the woods, learn environmentally-sensitive ways to use the bushes.

Menstrual Concerns

If menstrual concerns keep you from going for a walk, it's time to start believing those ads that you don't have to avoid exercise during that time of the month. However, Murphy's Law ensures that if you're going to walk a marathon or half marathon, your flow is going to strike on race day. You'll need to be prepared. But don't stress that it will hurt your performance as walking and exercise are often good ways to relieve cramps and discomfort.


Chafing is a problem for walkers, runners, and cyclists. The prime areas are the embarrassing ones—the groin, underarms, and nipples. You can prevent it by using proper preparations, skin treatments, and clothing.

Chest and Breast Problems for Women and Men

Sports bra problems for women include getting the right amount of support to prevent unpleasant bouncing, preventing chafing, and keeping straps from slipping. This is a common problem and an alarming number of women say they avoid certain types of exercise because of this problem.

But there are also many men who need chest support due to gynecomastia. There are a range of solutions that can act as a sports bra for men, including compression vests, chest binders, and even Spanx for men.


Jock itch is a common fungal infection can strike both men and women. Wearing sweaty, wet clothing creates the environment that promotes it. Switching to looser, sweat-wicking clothing can help prevent it. Luckily, it can be treated with over-the-counter creams, although tougher cases may need a prescription.

Itchy legs can be caused by different syndromes. Some people have actual exercise allergies that affect them when they have a raised heart rate. But often itchy legs are due to sensitivity to the fabric of your pants, dyes, or the laundry soap you use. Some people have shoe allergies because they are sensitive to tanning chemicals, glues, or dyes.

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Article Sources

  • de Oliveira EP, Burini RC. "The impact of physical exercise on the gastrointestinal tract." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009 Sep;12(5):533-8.
  • Kounis N, Kounis G, Soufras G. Exercise-induced urticaria, cholinergic urticaria, and Kounis syndrome. Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics. 2016;7(1):48. doi:10.4103/0976-500x.179355.