A Toxic-Free Work Out
While we may be more acquainted with looking at ingredients in our food or skin care, don't forget to check the toxic load in the products commonly used by many of us while keeping fit. Here are a few items to consider.
Yoga mats, in general, are produced using several toxic chemicals such as PVC, PER, TPE, Phthalates and more. These types of yoga mats are toxic to produce, continue off-gassing during use and continue to do so once they are discarded. These chemicals are harmful for humans and the environment, so there has to be some non-toxic mats, right?
Many of the non-toxic options I've found simply don't perform well. They have little-to-no grip, don't lay flat, aren't thick enough, fall apart quickly and/or trap bacteria easily.
I discovered Manduka PRO-series yoga mats last year and they have been by far the top performing less-toxic option, in my opinion. The majority of their mats contain PVC, which has been certified by OEKO-TEX as safe and free of harmful substances.
Is there such a thing as safe PVC? The manufacturing process, according to OEKO-TEX, has ensured no toxic emission are released into the atmosphere and if you're curious, my sensitive-self did not smell any chemicals in the mat.
While the PVC issue may still be a concern for some, Manduka also offers their PVC-free eKO series mats, made from non-Amazon harvested tree rubber.
The main difference with the eKO mats compared to the PRO-series is they are 100% PVC-free and 99% latex-free. The PRO-series are 100% latex-free while using the eco-friendly PVC. The eKO mats are available in 4mm and 5mm thickness, while the PRO-series go as thick as 6mm.
Additionally, the mats are free from toxic glues and foaming agents while offering a closed-cell surface so they will not absorb sweat and moisture. Most non-toxic mats on the market are "open" which promotes breeding ground for bacteria.
Overall, these mats are designed to last. The PRO series are backed by a lifetime guarantee, if used and cared for properly. This means less mats are discarded into landfills, which is a win-win for everyone.
Work out clothes
I understand how tempting it is to grab those Lululemon leggings and $8 tank tops from Target, but what you might not know is these items were produced using conventional cotton and synthetic fibers treated with a number of chemicals such as:
- Alkylphenolethoxylates (APEOs)
- Pentachlorophenols (PCP)
- Toluene and other aromatic amines
- Dichloromethane (DCM)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers ( PBDE’s)
- Perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS)
- Toxic Dyes
Additionally, many top-performing clothing have proprietary fabric "recipes" so we don't really know what's really in them. As a former, lulu-enthusiast, I understand the obsession though! They are comfy and they (usually) last a long time!
But I had to ask myself if I was willing to wear products that may be poisoning me while funding more of this type of production with my purchases. Not only that, but the cheap tank tops I found to last a few washes before I had to throw them away for falling apart. How's that being environmentally-friendly or even cost-effective?
I want high-performing, long-lasting clothing that fits well with the least amount of chemical intervention. Oh and can they be cute and stylish, please? I don't know about you but I get sick of seeing the typical lotus-flower design all over everything organic.
I came across the brand Satva Living which takes an all-natural approach to organic cotton cultivation, free from pesticides and fertilizers – allowing nature to take its own course and develop self-sustaining ecosystems. Their farmers are provided with and use the highest quality organic, non-GMO, non-treated cotton seeds during cultivation and the fabric is GOTS certified from their OEKO-TEX certified factory.
Satva Living's products are free from chemicals including: bleaches, toxic waxes, sulfur and heavy metals commonly used in the production of clothing. Only natural, non-toxic plant based dyes are used.
They offer a variety of stylish organic clothing for working out and lounging: From basic tees, yoga-wear, leggings, sweatpants, sports bras and even a toddler line!
As if that wasn't enough, SATVA invests a portion of all proceeds back into the communities and agricultural programs to improve the livelihood and economic prosperity to the organic farmers in India.
I love these two: The Biana Tee in Iris, such a great cut and fit, along with Rachel Bralette in Black (though the entire line of sports bras look spectacular) I felt this bra fit and performed most like my supportive Lululemon sports bra.
I also picked up the Maya Jacket in Grey and Anya Legging in Black. Like the Bianca Tee, the cut of the jacket is great, it doesn't leave you looking boxy and the sleeve length was great for my arms. The leggings fit well and were very comfortable and clearly designed well. Since it is 95% organic cotton and 5% lyrca, there can be a hint of sheerness if the fabric is stretched too tight and it may be on the warmer side for those looking for a lighter weight fabric than cotton.
Satva Living is offering my readers a 15% discount on all purchases using the code JANNY15 at checkout! Enjoy!
Conventional deodorants (and antiperspirants for that matter) contain harmful ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, like phthalates, parabens, tricolosan, formaldehyde and fragrances along with skin absorption enhancers like propylene glycol which make these nasty ingredients penetrate the skin more effectively!
Antiperspirants are designed to block your sweat ducts to prevent or lessen the amount of sweating. This is not how the body is designed to work and I wouldn't recommend suppressing or altering a natural behavior such as sweating. The active ingredient used to block sweat glands is Aluminum, which has been linked to cancer (source 2) and hormone disruption.
I strongly advise selecting a deodorant free of harmful ingredients, but it can be tricky to figure out which one is best for you since body chemistry differs from person to person. I give a full overview of my favorites in my Clean Beauty Deodorant Guide, but my faves are:
- Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Jar (Available with Baking Soda or without)
- Agent Nateur N°4 Holi(Rose) (Contains Baking Soda)
These summaries are my personal experience, but as I mentioned before, our body chemistries may be the same or different which may cause you to have similar or dissimilar experiences with the deodorant. If you are using a conventional deodorant or antiperspirant, you may do well to do an armpit detox first. Full information on this and the other deodorants I recommend are in my full guide here!
These bottles are designed with a stainless steel bottle and silicone grips and spouts so they are 100% free of: plastic (BPA and BPS), glass, toxic paint, phthalates and PVC.
The Sport Bottles come in the junior sizes of 11 oz and the insulated 9 oz, and the adult versions in 18 oz, 28 oz and insulated 22 oz.
Our daughter has four bottles, which, we have been using for years since the tops can be switched our use of a silicone nipple, sippy, straw or the wide-mouth sports lid.
The kids and adult lids are the exact same size, so no need to worry about them fitting differently after washing!
The bottles are available on Amazon.
I hope this is a helpful tool to help avoid most toxins during workouts; now if only we could get everyone to stop wearing fragrance to the gym, that would be incredible! ;)