Allergic to Exercise?
I have always been a strong advocate of a regular exercise routine as one of the most important things we can do to maintain not only our health but also beautiful, youthful-looking skin. Of course not everyone is a fan of vigorous physical activity, and those who just can’t seem to get themselves off the couch will sometimes claim they’re “allergic to exercise.” In fact, this claim is no joke to those who suffer from exercise-induced urticaria. As their bodies start to heat up and sweat during exercise, people with this condition will break out in an itchy red rash or big swollen hives. The main culprit involved in this allergic reaction is histamine—a chemical released from our tissues that causes inflammation and swelling by expanding the capillaries underneath the skin surface. In most cases, taking an over-the-counter anti-histamine can relieve these symptoms. A related condition, exercise-induced anaphylaxis, is far more serious. Intense physical activity can trigger this life-threatening reaction in people who have been exposed to a food, medication, or other substance they are severely allergic to. Symptoms include swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, and nausea. Anaphylactic reactions require immediate medical treatment. In addition to taking allergy pills, people with simple urticaria can control their symptoms by adopting the following practices: · Exercise in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. Avoid working out in extremely humid conditions. · Wear loose cotton clothing. Synthetic fabrics often irritate the skin. · Wash new workout clothes before wearing. High concentrations of substances such as sizing, dyes, and pesticide residues in fabrics can also result in skin irritation. · Use an anti-inflammatory cream. Creams and lotions that contain plant-derived anti-inflammatories such as aloe vera 200X, white willow bark extract, and white tea are all good choices. I’ll be writing more about the importance of exercise to achieving a healthy holistic lifestyle in my upcoming blog posts.