Matt Mund is the owner and founder of Mission Fitness. He is dedicated to helping his clients of all fitness levels achieve their personal goals
Don’t Let Seasonal Allergies Slow You Down
You feel the burning and the discomfort, but this is not the workout you want. They’re the effects of exercising outdoors when you suffer from seasonal allergies. With high pollen counts in the spring, many people encounter physical challenges beyond their exercise routine.
So how do you continue to exercise if your seasonal allergies are flaring up? There are several things tips you can follow.
- Be mindful of your medication. If your allergies are bad enough that you take medicine for them, make sure you take your dosage in plenty of time for it to start working before you head outdoors. Popping a pill as you walk out won’t help you much if you plan to exercise immediately.
- Identify your most troublesome allergens. What are you allergic to? If you know exactly what triggers your sneezing and breathing difficulties, you may be able to avoid some of those allergens by exercising in areas where they aren’t prevalent. But if you’re allergic to pollen, like many people are, there’s no escaping it outdoors. Pollen travels hundreds of miles through the air this time of year. Therefore, …
- Monitor pollen count. Check the weather forecast to see each day’s pollen count and then adjust accordingly. Many experts suggest exercising in the early-morning hours or in the evening because the pollen count rises throughout the morning and typically peaks around noon. And always be careful about exercising on warm, windy days when pollen is most severe. Pollen counts are lower when it’s damp and cool, and it’s a good idea to exercise outdoors immediately after rainfall has washed away a lot of pollen.
- Gear up properly. Wearing wrap-around sunglasses when exercising is a good way to block wind and some allergens from your eyes and minimize the burning and itchiness that so many people encounter during this season. Also, you can wrap a bandana around your mouth and nose while you exercise to filter out airborne irritants.
- Hit the showers. We’re hoping you clean up a little bit after your workout anyway, but it’s especially important this time of year so you can wash off any pollen that is stuck to your skin or clinging to your hair. You want to minimize pollen’s effects by keeping it out of your home and other indoor areas.
- Consider the alternative. If allergens are too intense and trigger allergic reactions or asthma, make a plan to exercise more indoors. You can augment your exercise routine with activities such as swimming, yoga, weight training or walking. Swimming is a great option for those who suffer from asthma because the pool’s moisture and warmth help to open breathing passages. And indoor activities are beneficial, in general, because you’re not heavily breathing in large amounts of allergens and irritants.
When it comes to exercising and seasonal allergies, there’s always a path you can take to reach your fitness goals.