How To Dress For The Gym With Psoriasis
Last updated: March 2019
I love working out but for me to exercise on a regular basis, I had to join a gym. Holding myself accountable at home just never works out in my favor. If working out at home works for you then that’s amazing (I’m jealous). But if you’re like me and need a little kick in the butt for motivation (like a monthly charge to your credit card from a local gym), then you may find yourself struggling with a new dilemma: how do I focus on myself at the gym when I feel like everyone else is focusing on me and my exposed skin?
Exposing my skin at the gym
When I first started exercising regularly, around other people, my appearance was a big roadblock for me. What are people going to think using a machine after me? Will they think my skin is gross? Infectious? What if no one wants to work out around me? I’m going to tell you a secret that someone told me (and hopefully you won’t be too offended), but you aren’t that big of a deal. Of course, you’re important and your feelings are absolutely valid but trust me when I say that everyone at the gym is probably focused on themselves and not thinking about you even half as much as you are thinking of you. But, having said that, you are still in a public space and you may get the occasional stare. And that’s OK (we’re used to it, right?).
If you’ve had psoriasis for any length of time, you are probably a master of disguise. Maybe you wear your skin loud and proud. That’s amazing. Kudos to you. Maybe you cover up a little here and a lot there. Also perfectly fine. I dabble in both.
My gym attire definitely depends a lot on where I am emotionally, mentally, and physically that day. If I’m feeling great and confident, despite my skin, I throw on a pair of shorts and a tank top, turn my headphone volume up to high and ignore whatever looks come my way. Feeling itchy and flaky and red? I cover up a little more. No matter the direction I choose, I have a workout wardrobe suited for the mood.
Soft, Breathable Fabric
I sweat. A lot. (My cousins still call me pitty britty) I hated sweating when I was little and I still hate it today. But it’s a given at the gym. If I’m not sweating, then I’m not working out as hard as I want to. So, I wear breathable fabric. This is especially true when I feel like really covering up at the gym. I don’t want to be in long sleeves or long pants if they’re heavy and constricting. Cotton shirts are great. I also love spandex, nylon and even bamboo (yep, they make clothes out of bamboo. Who knew!)
Let’s face it, psoriasis can be uncomfortable. When my skin is cracked, dry, and bleeding, I don’t want something tight rubbing against it. Sweat and friction in certain areas like the breast, groin, or abdominal folds even has the potential to worsen your psoriasis due to it generally thriving in areas of friction. Wear loose clothing. Be comfortable.
My latest skin dilemma is controlling my scalp psoriasis. It’s itchy, it’s flaky, and it’s ugly. The more I sweat, the more it itches. And the more I itch it, the more it shows. Baseball caps are my best friends. If you do a web search for workout hats, I’m sure you’ll even find some with a few fun phrases. Give them something to look at!
Black is not my best friend when I’m experiencing a flare. Throwing on a little color makes me stand out but leaves my flakes in hiding. Focus on your workout and not on your flakes by investing in a colorful workout wardrobe. Hello, Pink.
If you’re feeling a little too self-conscious for shorts and a tank, sport an outfit with long pants and sleeves. You’ll find a world of workout gear suited to cover all your needs.
Whatever you are wearing, be comfortable and confident. Choose clothing that makes you feel good so that you can focus on sets and not on skin.
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