If you’ve decided to get more exercise, that’s great. But if you find it harder to stick to your fitness plan than you expect, you might have to blame your allergies.

Dr. Richard Weber is president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. And he says that a lot of people feel worse after starting an exercise routine because it exposes them to allergens that can trigger skin allergies, and breathing problems. So, here’s how to avoid the worst offenders:

  • Try new equipment in small doses. Dr. Weber says that some rubber mats, medicine balls, and coated weights – especially new ones – give off gaseous chemicals that can irritate the lungs.
  • Bring your own disinfectant. That’s because the wipes and sprays that gyms provide to clean the equipment often contain volatile organic compounds that can trigger asthma attacks and rashes.
  • Work out in the morning when pollen counts are the lowest. Experts also recommend that the moment you get home, you should change your clothes and take a shower. That will remove any pollen, dust, and pollution particles that might’ve hitched a ride on you, or your clothing.
  • Choose your workout clothes carefully. If you suffer from allergies, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for workout wear. Some people swear that wearing spandex makes them less likely to be affected by allergens. But others are convinced that only natural fibers help them avoid trouble. Your best bet? Look for a pattern between your symptoms and the clothes you’re wearing to the gym and make adjustments accordingly.