There is no doubt that physical activity is good for health and render us a lot of joy and benefits. It makes our heart and muscles stronger, improves our silhouette and mental health, boosts our mood, and improves our sleep. Regular exercises are also an excellent way to prevent inflammation in our bodies that triggers eczema.
However, there is also a dark side of physical activity that often turn exercising into tormenting experience that most Eczema Warriors know: redness, skin flare, and unbearable itching that appear as soon as the skin surface temperature soars.
Additionally, if you, like me, have an allergy to your own sweat, finding a motivation to move the body becomes even more difficult.
Since exercising was always an important part of my life, the fact that my eczema got worse in the past few years was never a sufficient reason for me to give up on this healthy habit. To the contrary, I made my mission finding out the eczema-friendly physical activities that bring all the best without breaking my skin and exacerbating my eczema.
After months of searching, talking to sports coaches, and testing different workouts in the comfort of my home, I selected the top 3 solutions that will make you feel awesome without making you feel like your skin is on fire. And you can practice all of them at home! How cool is that, right?
Here they are:
ECZEMA-FRIENDLY SOLUTION 1 – YIN & HATHA YOGA
Yin and Hatha Yoga are mind-body practices that use meditation, breathing techniques, and physical poses (known as “asanas”) to improve physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Both practices are slow and gentle (perfect for eczema-prone skin) and help bring peace to the mind and body.
Yin yoga is a very meditative form of yoga. It focuses more on passive, seated postures, hold for 5 minutes or longer, that target the connective tissues in the hips, pelvis and lower spine. The aim is to increase flexibility and encourage a feeling of release and letting go.
While Hatha Yoga combines physical movement with breathing, and focuses on basic yoga postures, which makes it perfect for beginners, and emotional self-awareness.
Although both practices are considered as gentle types of yoga due to the static poses, they still can be physically challenging (oh boy, you will feel your muscles, I promise you!).
Why Yin and Hatha Yoga are eczema-friendly?
Because these low-pace exercises won’t make you sweat yet they will shape and strengthen your body and muscles, reduce inflammation, improve your mental health and, in a long term, quality of life.
Yoga incorporates many breathing exercises, which help improve breathing and lung function. This is paramount especially if you suffer from Atopic Triad (eczema, allergy, and asthma).
Practicing yoga just a few times per week often is enough to see a positive difference in your skin condition and overall health.
ECZEMA-FRIENDLY SOLUTION 2 – PILATES
Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that aims to strengthen muscles while improving postural alignment and flexibility.
It’s demanding, but it’s not the kind of workout that always works up a sweat, which again makes it perfect for Eczema Warriors. Pilates is all about concentration, breathing, and precision. Technique is paramount. And although the exercises look easy, you’ll definitely feel them in your muscles.
The exercises are usually done in a specific order, one right after another. By practicing Pilates just twice a week you’ll get stronger, more sculpted muscles and gain flexibility. You may also feel taller, more elongated and more energized, and have better sense of well-being.
Why Pilates is eczema-friendly?
Because Pilates is not a cardio workout that puts you through the hoops. It’s a low-impact form of exercise that combines deep breathing with gentle stretching to boost strength, balance, and mobility. The movements are small and slow and have minimal impact on the joints.
If neither yoga nor Pilates sound good for you, the 3rd solution will make happy even the most demanding person.
ECZEMA-FRIENDLY SOLUTION 3 – FITON
FitOn is the marvel I discovered a few months ago and instantly fell in love with. It’s a digital fitness app that is on a mission to democratize wellness by bringing world-class trainers directly into your living room.
It offers hundreds of different workouts from cardio to HIIT to strength to yoga to dance for free (yes, you heard me, for free!).
The reason why I love this app is that it allows me to mix and match all the training and fitness forms I can dream of. And while normally I would never opt for 45 minutes of cardio training because it would make me sweat like hell, trigger my asthma, and aggravate my eczema, 14 minutes of Cardio Kickboxing is absolutely doable for me, it doesn’t harm my skin, it boosts my energy level instantly, and on top of that, it’s super fun. And by mixing and matching shorter exercises, you can create a full-body workout that is different every single day. Pretty cool, huh?
Why FitOn is a great for Eczema Warriors?
Because it offers you an option of short and less intensive training that will keep your skin calm and happy yet make your body work hard. You neither have to commit to one single workout nor do the whole workout at once. You can start your day and get your creative juices flowing with Creative Meditation (5 min), boost your energy level during the day with Low Impact Cardio (9 minutes) and unwind and relax before bed with Evening Unwind (10 min).
With this app eczema really isn’t a problem and you have plenty to choose from. You can select the type, length, and intensity of workout depending on the condition of your skin and keep moving even on bad skin days.
Voilà! Here they are: three solutions that will help you keep your mind and body in good shape without exacerbating eczema and triggering frenzied scratching. Now it’s your turn: set up a designated space, commit to a new routine, choose the workout that makes you feel excited, and start shaping your body that will make your neighbor green from envy!
Joanna Blein is on the mission to make women with skin conditions feel good again and normalize the skin diseases in everyday life. She is Eczema Warrior, Eczema Advocate, and founder of stylish skin-and-planet-friendly clothing brand FEEL GOOD COUTURE™. Sign up here to instantly receive a 10% off for your first purchase.