Toxins That Can Affect Workouts

Toxins That Can Affect Workouts

June 26, 2019

Some people who usually want to find an excuse for not working out would jokingly say “I’m allergic to exercise” but the truth is, some gym equipment and materials can indeed trigger allergic reactions such as itching, sneezing, and sneezing no matter how much you try to avoid them, especially if you have known allergies. But of course, before hitting the gym, it’s always a good idea to figure out what you’re actually allergic to in the first place. Here, we list some materials that can possibly start flare-ups.

Yoga Mats

Yoga is a form of exercise with meditation, but for someone with allergies, breaking into hives everytime you perform yoga poses is not very Zen-like. While natural rubber mats are great, they are not recommended for people with latex allergy because there are traceable amounts of latex in a rubber mat. Latex allergy sufferers can find greener and safer mats made of hemp or organic cotton.

Chlorine in Swimming Pools

Swimming is a great exercise. But for people with sensitive skin, allergies, and asthma, it can be bothersome. If you do not feel well after a water activity or workout, it could be that the pool is not properly ventilated or maintained. Saltwater pool are better for some individuals, because salt disinfects water. After swimming in a chlorinated pool and to cut down on chloroform levels circulated around your house, shower immediately in properly filtered water after swimming.

Locker Room Soaps

Gym goers should watch out for triclosan, a common ingredient in antibacterial soaps that is linked to thyroid disease, compromised immune systems, and hormonal issues that could affect your weight and overall health. Avoid gyms that use antibacterial soaps, or if you are already a member, ask the management to start using unscented Green Seal Certified soaps that skip the harmless compounds. 

Disinfectants and Air Fresheners

Due to the spread of the deadly MRSA superbug in gyms that are reportedly able to live for months on equipment, gym managers have now switched to using toxic disinfectants to wipe out this bug. However, those disinfectant sprays contain phthalate-loaded fragrance chemicals and VOCs that are toxic or hazardous under federal law. These toxins are linked to cancer, asthma, headaches, and allergies. During gym sessions, remember to keep your hands away from your face, and as soon as you’re done working out, shower or at the very least, wash your hands with regular soap and water. Alcohol-based sanitizers have been found to kill MRSA, and your rubbing alcohol should be at least 70% alcohol and fragrance-free. When it comes to air fresheners, inform your gym manager about the dangers of the chemicals found in them, and that they make it harder for you to breathe. 

Smoothies and Snacks

While protein bars, fruit shakes, and smoothies may seem tempting after workout, people with nut, wheat, egg, soy, or milk allergies should read the labels before taking anything. Some smoothies are loaded with harmful food dyes and excess sugars including corn syrup. It will be better if you can whip up a healthier smoothie at home after your gym session, and include whole, organic foods to your post-workout meal.

Workout Clothes

Sometimes, you don’t even need to go to the gym to get an allergic reaction. Sometimes, even your clothes can potentially cause a reaction. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are used in underwear and gym clothes. You have to check clothing labels before you purchase. Lycra is less likely to irritate but to be sure, check with your doctor or an allergist before wearing or trying on gym clothes. Better yet, look for natural fibers, including wool or cotton.

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