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I'm 31, female, 5'1" and 260 lbs. I work out twice a day. In the mornings I take my dog for a 30 minutes jog and in the evenings I ride my stationary bike for 30 minutes. I of course get very hot and sweaty while working out. My problem is the cool down. I cool way to far down.

Within 10 minutes of my heart rate returning to normal, I start shivering like crazy. My hands and feet turn to ice cubes. I have to wear a jacket indoors for about 2 hours and then I level off and go back to normal.

What could this possibly be and does it ever happen to any one else? Is it dangerous? or no cause for alarm? Thanks for any help you guys can give.Smile

7 Replies (last)

I don't know if it's harmful, but here's what happens to me.

Before I workout or do PT, I turn off my heater in my dorm. It's usually around 30F degrees outside. So I workout, get hot and all that. Usually walk home with only a light jacket, and shorts. By the time I get to my dorm it's like 45F in there. Then I shower and have my window cracked open for the steam. So I end up shivering after I'm done and dried off.

My point is, I put myself in a cooler environment than usual to cool off. But I always "overdo" the "cool down", so I know that's why I get cold. Normally my dorm is 65-70F. Maybe your house is just too cold?

I can only guess what is going on with you, but (like bmx) I'll add to general info by telling you what happens to me.

If I do a "medium" workout, I come inside and the house will seem very warm even if it is 60F or less, so I'll get into some dry clothing and have no problems. If I do a really long workout, I get chilled easily after I stop, so I quickly put on dry clothes and a down jacket. I've always guessed that it had to do with using up stores of glycogen in the muscle. It takes different people different amounts of time to use those stores up, but the effect seems pretty common.

Could be a few things.. chills often happen after a person has "hit the wall." Basically, your store of glycogen, that normally resides in your muscles, has been used up. Your body then turns to your liver for glycogen. Chills and feelings of weakness are signs that your glycogen store is low. A small snack comprised of carbs, about 30 minutes to an hour before your run should help.

Also, make sure you are not dehyrdated.  I would suggest that you drink more liquids and also that near the end of exercising [or right afterwards] you drink a fairly large amount of fruit juice that is at room temp - not right out of the refrigerator. Warm tea with honey will help a lot. The point of this is re-hydration along with the insertion of glucose to get your body some food quick.

This sounds exactly like something we talked about in one of my lectures last week (I'm in med school, we are doing cardiac physiology now).

Have you ever been diagnosed with any cardiac problems (coronary artery disease, hypertension, early stages of heart failure)? I know these sound serious, its probably none of these, but if you do have them or have a family history, it might be worth bringing up at your next doctor's appointment.


When you are exercising, the goal is to increase you cardiac output (the amount of blood being pumped by your heart every minute). The blood vessels in your skeletal muscle and skin will dilate, and this lowers your arterial blood pressure. To compensate, your heart increases how much it contracts on each beat, as well as how fast it is beating...the immediate goal of your heart at any time is to maintain your mean arterial pressure. So if you push yourself beyond what your heart can handle (ie it can't compensate enough for the increased blood flow to your muscles; this doesn't mean you have anything wrong with your heart, it just means your heart is probably not conditioned as well as it could be, this should get better over time), your blood pressure will start to fall. An easy way for your body to compensate is to constrict blood vessels, and one of the first places you will feel this is in your blood flow decreases, the heat in your hands will also decrease. It is also possible that as your heart rate decreases, your capillaries are not constricting quickly enough and you will be giving off more heat (ie your body will cool down).

I would suggest staying really hydrated when you exercise...Drink before you work out , while you work out and after you work out. This increased fluid will hopefully increase your blood pressure so that your body isn't under- and over-compensating. Hope this helps!

Thanks so much for all of your replies. i didn't even know muscles had glycogen, much less that i could deplete it! also, i never have a thing to eat or drink until after my work out, shower, and drive to work. then I have hot green tea and water all day. I suppose i should start having water before and the tea directly after my jog.

I have never been seen for any heart problems nor do we have a family history, but it could very well be getting too much stress since i'm  hugely obese and running in circles! generally, i jog until i can't breathe and then walk very fast until i catch my breath. then back to the jogging. i average 2 miles in 30 minutes. with a bmi of 51. so the heart stress thing is a definate maybe. i just don't know what to do about it and keep losing weight.

Have you seen a Dr? Have him give you a stress test..and get the OK before you start ANY type of exercise. 

I agree with the others that you should talk to a doctor. However, I have learned that our sweat is a natural coolant for our bodies, and I often get cold after a workout myself. I've heard that sweating is healthy during a workout and a hr that goes down faster after a workout is great also.  But those are just things I've heard about fit people.

Do you shower after you sweat? Does cleaning off your "cooling mechanism" (sweat) help warm you up?

Anyways, see a doctor, but I just thought I'd add that since I just looked it up yesterday.

Take care of yourself.


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