A Few Tips for Exercising with Allergies
Summer is gone. Temperatures are cooling and Fall is upon us. For many, this will alleviate some of your more severe allergy symptoms, but it doesn't always mean they've disappeared. Sometimes, it only means that one allergen has been replaced by another. Whether you refer to your symptoms as hay fever or by some other name, its scientific name is allergic rhinitis. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year and if you're one of those who suffer from seasonal rhinitis, triggered mostly by pollen, you may be about to get some relief. Exercising with allergies may become less of an issue for you.
Those who suffer from perennial rhinitis, brought on by other airborne allergens like dust mites, pet dander and mold, may find their misery can last year round. While allergies are treatable, they can still be very unpleasant. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, and others which can make living very uncomfortable, and your exercise routine miserable.
Of course, one can’t stop working out just because of a case of the sniffles. Follow a few simple tips to make exercising with allergies a little easier. While most of these tips are more applicable to seasonal rhinitis, sufferers of perennial rhinitis can find a little help here too.
This one seems fairly obvious, but it’s worth repeating anyway. The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens that cause them. For spring allergy sufferers, these allergens are typically dust, ragweed, oak, or other particles that are floating around in abundance outdoors. The solution? Exercise indoors when possible. Make use of a local gyms, fitness classes, indoor pools or your own home for your workouts.
Exercise at the Right Time of Day
If you must exercise outside, or can’t give up your relaxing outdoor run, at least choose the right time of day. Pollen counts vary throughout the day, reaching peak levels around noon and early afternoon. That makes exercising with allergies early in the morning or late in the evening more advisable. Avoiding outdoor exercise in the afternoon when the sun is highest is better for your skin and general health, too. Keep in mind, however, that in allergy season, pollen counts will never be zero.
Try Less Intensive Activities
When pollen counts are unusually high, swap out your usual jog or intense bike ride with something that is slower paced. The more stressful the exercise, the faster you breath and the more allergens and other irritants you inhale. Faster breathing means a more severe effect on your allergies. So instead, try something more low-key on "high risk" days.
Protect Yourself from Allergens
Block allergens and other irritants from getting into your body by protecting yourself. Exercising with a light-material mask or bandana over your nose and mouth can help reduce the amount of allergens you inhale. Goggles are also a great way to ward away allergens from eyes and avoid itchiness, redness, and tearing. If you’re uncomfortable wearing goggles, large sunglasses can work almost as well.
Wear Clean Workout Clothes
Whenever you go outside, your clothing and hair get covered in naturally-sticky pollen. It’s not a bad idea to change into clean clothes as soon as you get home and wash your old ones. At the very least, you should wash your pollen-infested clothes after each time you workout. That way, the next time you exercise, you’ll have only clean, allergen-free fabric against your skin.
Take Allergy Medication
While some people are loathe to take medicine, it’s sometime the most effective solution. Ask your doctor how you should use your medicine before outdoor exercise. If allergy season hasn’t yet started in your area, it’s wise to start taking your medicine now. That way, you might preempt your symptoms before their onset.
Exercising with allergies can be difficult. If you suffer from allergies and you're about to start a new exercise routine, or you're thinking of making some changes and you need a little advice, stop by our store in Thousand Oaks or give us a call. RX Fitness is here to help with your fitness goals, whatever they may be. We work with hundreds of nutritionists, personal trainers, fitness coaches and medical professionals and we're happy to refer you to one or several so you can get your fitness routine off on the right foot. We also carry equipment and accessories of all kinds to fit every goal and budget and make your fitness routine more productive. Come in and let us help you find exactly what you're looking for. And don't forget, you can always find Tim's best-selling book, Fitness Equipment – A Shopper's Guide, on Amazon and other online book sellers as well as in our store.
Contact Tim Adams for a free consultation or stop by the store and take something for a test drive. We’re here to help.