It’s an excuse we’ve all used to get out of a brutal workout at some point or another. But according to science, being allergic to exercise is actually a thing.
But before you go and curse your parents because you weren’t born with an exercise allergy, just know that it’s not a fun time. Popular Science reports that exercise-induced anaphylaxis, which affects approximately 50 in every 100,000 people, causes breathing difficulties, lightheartedness, hives, nausea and diarrhea. If you continue to exercise, it can lead to swelling of the face, lips, eyes and throat — ultimately leading to anaphylactic shock.
The verdict is still out on what exactly causes the condition. However, scientists believe it’s triggered by other factors in conjunction with exercise, like certain foods, alcohol, cold weather and menstruation. It can happen during almost any type of exercise, whether it’s a leisurely walk in the park or a hardcore HIIT session. The only workout nobody seems to be allergic to is swimming. According to a study published in Current Allergy and Asthma, people diagnosed with exercise-induced anaphylaxis didn’t present any symptoms after doing laps.
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If you have an exercise allergy, you’d probably already know about it. But if some of the symptoms sound all too familiar, you might want to read up on the signs you’re pushing yourself too hard during your workouts.