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Seasonal Allergies and Working Out: How to Combine the Two
Seasonal allergies got you down? It’s very possible, with pollen levels through the roof – on your roof, on your hair, on your eyelids, everywhere. You feel stuffy, sick, itchy, tired and uncomfortable. Why would you even attempt to exercise outside in this? But it’s also so beautiful and sunny and warm! You’re in a conundrum. You ask how to professional athletes exercise with seasonal allergies. You ask if you really have to stay in side until everything stops blooming.
The answer: no! You can enjoy the lovely weather, get a workout and minimize your seasonal allergies. We’re not saying you won’t come home sneezing, but you will at least be able to achieve a workout. In fact, some studies have shown that symptoms like itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion decrease during exercise. Here are some tips to exercise with seasonal allergies:
- Take an antihistimine, preferably one that does not cause drowsiness.
- Pollen counts are highest in the morning, so wait until later in the day to head outside.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses, if possible, to keep pollen away from your face and eyes
- Avoid alcohol. It can cause redness and swelling of the same tissue being affected by the seasonal allergies.
- Focus on breathing in and out of your nose and not your mouth. The nose will filter the allergens out.
- Apply petroleum jelly or aquaphor around the rims of your nostrils, which will catch the pollen before it enters the nose!
- Shower immediately after your workout, to get rid of the pollen on your hair and skin. Also wash any clothes you were wearing as well. In fact, shower before bed (including your hair) to help minimize breathing in any seasonal allergens at night – and have your sleeping partner, including a dog, to do the same.
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your body will create more histamines that cause seasonal allergies. Some allergy meds are designed to dry out your runny nose and may also cause dehydration.
- Also use an eye wash and a nasal rinse to help clear out any pollens upon returning home.
If the pollen count is especially high on a particular day, which you can find out through a local weather forecast, or it’s really windy out, sometimes it’s better just to hit the gym instead. But don’t let seasonal allergies control your life – you should take control your allergies!
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