exercising with allergies

Naturally Healthy: Tips for Allergy Friendly Fitness

Naturally Healthy: Tips for Allergy Friendly Fitness

Hello I’m Izennah, an Aussie graphic designer and health coach. My lifelong allergies lit a passion for natural living, and I’ve been so thankful for allergy-free companies like Cottonique.

Before discovering their beautiful products, I was more flared than I realised. Now I feel spoiled, comfortable in my own skin and wonderfully normal every day. So it’s a dream to collaborate with the Cottonique team to share my tips to make life with allergies simple, affordable and lovely. This month is all about fitness with allergies, particularly latex allergies, which provide a few challenges.

Feeling good in your body and finding the exercise that feels right for you are such important parts of a healthy lifestyle, mind and body. I feel healthier, happier and more centred when I’m moving in some way everyday, and have time to spoil myself. Working with my doctor, I’ve found walking, yoga, some weight training and HIIT sessions are enough to get my heart beating without overdoing it, which is the balance I need to keep my allergies calm.


Living with allergies can be uncomfortable and simple things like feeling good in my clothes, always gives me confidence. Whether in my workouts, at home, working or with my loved ones, this confidence carries through the rest of my day (even if I’m have a rash on my face!).

Before I found Cottonique I didn’t own cute and comfy basics, underwear and supportive bras that I could wear to the gym, as most activewear and intimates contain elastane and latex. Going to the gym, a yoga class or shopping to see such fun prints and leggings, I felt a little out of place. Now in my Cottonique pieces I not only feel part of everything, but safe, knowing it’s good for my allergies.


I was delighted and spoiled to receive a package of items from Cottonique, some I hadn’t yet tried, as well as some long time favourites in different colours and styles!


I only wear Cottonique underwear and love how comfortable, soft, well fitted with a little stretch, and easy to care for they are. Made from 100% organic cotton with no spandex or latex, and latex-free elastic they are chemical-free, synthetic free and hypoallergenic. I have always chosen the black and natural versions so I was thrilled to receive two high cut pairs in Melange grey, which are so flattering and give me a little lift, perfect for the gym.


I nearly wore out my first pair of black adult booties from wearing them everyday so I’m excited to have two new pairs in natural. Made from 100% organic cotton with no spandex or latex, they are chemical-free and synthetic free. The design is so clever and feels secure and comfortable, not quite like a sock or a slipper, perfect for yoga at home or the studio.


I’ve moved from the tropics to the coast so haven’t need warm clothing unti nowl. I love my new thermal long sleeves and pants as they are soft and warm, wonderful for practicing yoga at home or under clothes for a walk outside in the cool. Made from 100% organic cotton with no spandex or latex, they are chemical-free and synthetic free. The relaxed fit and honeycomb texture feel so luxurious, the scoop neck gives it a feminine look and the ribbed cuffs keep the sleeves down and me cosy, even when moving through poses.


The shorts are gorgeous and I was delighted to received a matching set with the panties, bra and shorts in Melange grey! Made from 100% organic cotton with no spandex or latex, they are chemical-free and synthetic free. They have pockets, are long enough to feel covered at the gym, and have a non-elasticated drawstring waist which is perfect for days my stomach is feeling tender or if I want to cinche them at my waist with a t-shirt tucked in.


With my latex allergy and digestive issues, I was wearing little cotton bralettes which are not supportive enough for a run or HIIT session. So I was delighted to receive a Melange grey racerback pull-over bra, made from 100% organic cotton with no spandex or latex, chemical-free and synthetic free and featuring latex-free elastic. The bra is a dream to move in, so comfortable, easy to put on, doubly lined, underwire-free, and smooth under clothes.


The first step is working with your doctor and experimenting to find the types of exercise you love. An added challenge with allergies is finding safe places you enjoy too, as gyms, yoga studios, pools and other fitness places can be not so allergy friendly. Air fresheners, cleaning products, incense, deodorants, and equipment made of latex or rubber such as yoga mats, resistance bands and padding are some things to be aware of.

Here are some tips from a fitness loving girl that’s been there:

  • Make use of gym and yoga studio trial offers so you can see if the space is right for you. Try classes at all times of day to find if there are ones that suits you, see if they have well ventilated spaces or a nice corner with open windows, and talk to other gym goers for tips.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask the staff for help and open up about your allergies. Raising awareness is so important and most people don’t realise that simple things like not spraying deodorant in a crowded room could make such a difference to asthma and allergy sufferers.

  • Wear inexpensive cotton gloves to protect your hands in gyms, and Cottonique cotton booties to protect your feet in shoe-free classes such as yoga. I’ve found that they give me confidence to use all the equipment including yoga mats, boxing gloves and bags, and any machines with rubberised handles.

  • If allergies are more severe, a travel air filter worn around the neck works very well. 

  • Create a space at home where you feel inspired to exercise on days when your allergies are flared. I feel so lucky to have a home gym where I can practice yoga and play with weights any time of day. We bought inexpensive second hand equipment on Gumtree (Australian Craigslist) and it makes me feel like moving everytime I walk past the spare room. A bonus is that I can choose the music!

  • If in doubt, go for a walk. It always makes me feel better to get out in the fresh air, even for few minutes walk to the shops. When very rashy, dancing in the living room is great too!

  • Simple relaxation exercises and yoga poses can be wonderful for calming the nervous system and potentially reducing allergy symptoms. I love to lie down with my hands on my stomach, taking deep breaths, or with my legs up against a wall for five minutes or so.

  • Finding a pair of latex-free sneakers as comfortable and supportive as my Cottonique outfits changed my fitness life. All Birds create an range of easy to clean sneakers using natural materials such as merino, castor bean and eucalyptus tree fibre. 

  • Allergy friendly deodorant is a must for feeling fresh, I love simple fragrance-free mineral deodorant from the health food store or supermarket.

  • Washing my gorgeous Cottonique outfits soon after I finish my workout in simple fragrance free washing powder keeps them fresh and ready for tomorrow.

Awareness, availability and affordability of allergy-friendly options is increasing each day, from cotton yoga mats to latex-free swimwear. Even if you are new to allergy living, hang in there and keep looking for allergy friendly companies such as Cottonique who are here to help you move and enjoy your body everyday.

Thank you so much for having me. I’d love to know, what is your best advice for fitness with allergies? I’m so looking forward to sharing next month’s blog on Intimates and Cosy Sleep.

 Allergy Living ebook


This post was written for Cottonique and was first published on May 15, 2019 on Naturally Healthy.

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