Have you ever heard anyone say they’re allergic to the gym? We don’t just mean those people trying to avoid their workouts, we're talking about the people that leave the gym and experience allergy and hay fever like symptoms.
Originally we found the idea of people being allergic to the gym a bizarre concept, after all the gym is so clean and there’s no dust or flowers, so surely this shouldn’t be an issue? Well actually it is and we recently found out why…
As it turns out, you are surrounded by toxins on a daily basis. Most objects and products contain chemical properties, some of which can really harm your body. The first thing to remember if you are experiencing allergy like symptoms, in or after your workout, is that every cleaning product used in the gym (or in any environment) could contain toxins that cause this type of reaction, and too much regular exposure to these chemicals can result in ailments later in life.
Now, we don’t want to scare you and realistically there are people who won’t be affected at all by this and it’s equally important to remember that you can’t avoid every chemical in the world, nor do you need to. However, there are things you can control; for example the products you use to clean your gym equipment – instead of opting for a harsh chemical based spray you can find a ‘non-toxic’ cleaner and quite often it costs no more than a regular disinfectant. One product we love is the ‘method anti-bac all purpose cleaner’ and we tend to buy the wild rhubarb scent. Also, there are some you can make yourself with ingredients you’ll likely have lying around your home; our go-to is one we found on the website Poosh, linked here: https://poosh.com/diy-non-toxic-yoga-mat-cleaner/.
Another trick is being aware of the material of things like yoga or workout mats. A few months ago, at the start of lockdown I decided to do a workout out from home and found that whenever I was on my mat, my eyes watered and I felt itchy. I realised that the mat was made of polyvinyl chloride, which is a known carcinogen, as well as some hormone disrupting chemicals called phthalates.
The problem I then had was knowing what to look for in a product and what to avoid, and I’ll admit it is complicated but there are lots of websites that can help us. An easy way to find a non toxic floor mat is by searching it online, here’s one I found on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wonder-Mat-Toxic-Waterproof-Exercise/dp/B00480C2RC.
Now, maybe you have been lucky enough to never experience these side effects from the gym or from the use of gym equipment, however for those of you that are now wondering if this could be what is affecting you whilst working out – One of the things you could do is keep a journal, noting the symptoms you get, where you get them and what equipment you have been using. Then, hopefully, you can pinpoint where the toxins are coming from, fix the issue and enjoy your workouts much more!!
All in all, we must remember that small changes do make a difference to our bodies and if we feel healthy and happy on the inside, it’s much easier to glow on the outside!
Written by Megan Wilkinson