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Being allergic to exercise is real - and scientists have proved it

Are you one of the people affected?

Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
March 19, 2018
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If you're one of those people who's always finding an excuse to skip the gym, here's another big one - you could actually be allergic to working out! According to Popular Science, exercise actually can prompt an allergic reaction in some people - although it is incredibly rare.

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is estimated to affect around 50 in every 100,000 people, with symptoms of the condition said to include hives, flushing, wheezing, nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhoea. The symptoms occur for 30 to 50 per cent of people when they exercise after eating certain types of food, including wheat, shellfish, fruit and milk, which are all known to be common allergens. However, other women will only experience exercise-induced anaphylaxis when they are at a point in their menstrual cycle when oestrogen levels are high.

Bridget Jones film still© Photo: Rex

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis affects around 50 in every 100,000 people

More than just an excuse to ditch your gym buddy, the symptoms can become serious if not properly managed. However, just like any allergy, the condition is easily controlled by avoiding the triggers, which would include eating particular foods before strenuous exercise.

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If your own aversion to exercise is more related to lacking in motivation rather than a physical allergy, you may be able to achieve your goals and actually grow to like working out by setting realistic and achievable targets. Jade Pearman, F45 UK Head Trainer, shared her expert tips with HELLO!, with one of the most important being understanding why you should be working out.

"Understanding your 'why' is your most powerful motivator. Your 'why' could be your desire to improve your health so you can be a better role model to your kids and the people around you," she said. "Being able to identify your true 'why' will give you the drive and motivation to see it through. This can be tough, but once you dig deep and find your true emotional trigger this will become your ultimate driving force."

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