Probably best to start this post with a confession. I loathe the gym! Utterly hate and despise it! Every now and then I decide that it is time to turn over a new leaf and I throw large amounts of money at a membership, only to ignore it completely after the first month. I think on average my last few gym visits cost me about £50 a go. The shame!
However, I realise that not everyone is as weak willed (err, lazy) as me and so this post is devoted to what you can wear to the gym that will ensure you fit in, look the part and can exercise with ease without flashing your psoriasis for all to see.
If I’m completely honest, I would say that the gym is possibly the one place that your psoriasis won’t really be noticed. In my (admittedly limited) experience, people in gyms are far too busy focusing on their own bodies to be bothered looking at yours.
Although I may not be a gym bunny, I am very much aware of the importance of exercise especially for those of us who have psoriasis. With increased risk of diabetes and cardiac disease amongst others, it is essential that we do our best to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as an appropriate body weight (my chosen form of exercise is walking by the way – cheap, easy, and gives me a chance to listen to music in peace).
At this stage, modern technology has crept into almost every area of our lives and sportswear is no exception. As a result, long sleeve tops are no longer as vile a proposition as they might have been. Fabrics are now specially manufactured to remain dry and allow you to move freely during exercise whilst ensuring your body temperature is regulated. One such example is this Nike Dri-Fit Knit Long Sleeve T-Shirt from JD Sports. Absolutely ideal if you wish to conceal your arms.
A similar top, but possibly more suitable for outdoor use in the colder weather is this Pro Warm 8 Bit Half Zip from Nike. A huge range of cheering colours available in this top.
The great news for all you sportswear fans is that you don’t need to spend a fortune in order to dress the part for your gym or running activities. Many of the mainstream shops have a sportswear section (even Primark – go check it out) and the range in H&M is particularly impressive. I’ve seen these running tights all over Instagram, so clearly they are the cool thing to wear this season (personally I would call these leggings – is there a difference? Answers on a postcard please!)
I accept however that these may not work for everyone particularly if you have psoriasis on your thighs or calves. Tight legwear can definitely aggravate skin that is already angry. Instead these looser sports trousers style might work. (Clearly I’m way out of touch – I would have called these jogging bottoms.) These aren’t lined, so are lightweight enough not to cause excessive heat. I also like the cuffed hem, which may work to save you embarrassment by trapping any escaping flakes from your legs. We’ve all been there!
In the spirit of complete honesty, I may as well address the seriously thorny issue that the gym presents to anyone with psoriasis. The changing rooms and shower! How do we navigate that particular obstacle? Well, the truth is, I never did. On the occasions that I actually went to the gym I always went at a time when I knew I could go straight home afterwards and shower in the privacy of my own bathroom. I really don’t know of any other way to handle this, but would be interested to hear of your experiences or if you’ve found a foolproof way to manage that problem?
We are now hurtling towards Easter – this year is just flying by – and so summer is just around the corner. This is a great time to revisit those New Year’s Resolutions … I can’t be the only one who approached January with the zeal of an Olympic athlete only to abandon all good intentions at the first sniff of a Chinese takeaway and bottle of wine?! With such a wide range of sportswear now available to suit all shapes and sizes and full sleeve and leg lengths to conceal your skin, you no longer have to be embarrassed by your psoriasis when working out.
So that’s the clothes issue sorted. Now I just need to find my enthusiasm …
This content is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
UK/IE 2013b/00057l. Date of preparation: January 2016