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Common Health Allergens During Workouts

Could You Be Allergic to Your New Health Routine?

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!

So you've started your "New Year, New You" routine — maybe you joined a gym, took a lap around the block, or stocked up on new workout clothes and healthier foods. Way to go! (Another idea? Try our Amazing Six-Day, No-Cook Diet.) This can only mean good things for your health, right?

In most cases, yes. But there is a chance that making big changes can lead to bad reactions if you have specific allergies or sensitivities. Not that we want to give anyone an excuse to ditch their diet or cut their workouts short (we are all about the resolutions — trust me!), but it is important to be aware of the things that might put you at risk. So, from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, here are a few ways to make sure that your resolutions are truly the healthiest ones for you.

See the healthy resolutions after the break!

Check food labels and ingredients.

If you have a food allergy or intolerance, chances are you've been aware of it for a while and are already vigilant about doing this. But it's a good thing to keep in mind if you're trying out new recipes or buying new foods like energy bars or ready-to-eat meals, which can contain common allergens like nuts and soy.


Watch out for allergens at the gym.

People with latex sensitivities might find that certain equipment at the gym — like rubber mats, balls, and coated free weights — can cause a rash or hives. Sneakers and synthetic workout gear may also contain latex or other itch-inducing materials that, combined with dry Winter air, can wreak havoc on your skin. Opt for Lycra or spandex blends, which tend to be less irritating, and talk to your doc or dermatologist if you notice a problem.

Exercise outdoors with caution.

Pollen, grass, and air pollution can all contribute to breathing problems for people with allergies. If you find that running or working out outside triggers an attack, you may need medication. Opting to work out indoors, avoiding high-pollen times midday, staying away from high-traffic roads, and showering immediately after your workout (to wash off pollen on your body and in your hair) can also help.

Keep reading for more.[/break]

Don't overdo it!

Wheezing and coughing during a workout can also be caused by a condition called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), which affects about 10 percent of Americans. EIB symptoms are more common in the Winter, when cold, dry air can irritate your lungs — especially if you're out of shape to begin with. Take it slow at first, and work to gradually improve your fitness, and talk to your doctor if you're concerned about shortness of breath, chest tightness, or unusual fatigue during exercise.

Check out these other great stories from Self:

Image Source: Thinkstock
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