Six Tips for Exercising Outside with Allergies
If you’re like most people, you take full advantage of the nice, sunny weather when it’s upon us — and that includes moving your fitness routine outdoors. If you suffer from allergies, however, it can sometimes be difficult to do any exercise outside. But there are ways to work around your allergies and get out there anyway. Here are six tips to help avoid sniffles and sneezes during your workouts.
1. Be a Clock Watcher
Try to arrange your fitness routines for a time of day when the pollen count is low. Usually, the pollen count is at its peak level during the evening and from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. If you live in a city, you may also find that the wind carries pollen into town and drives the pollen count up around noontime.
2. Select the Proper Exercise
To work on cardio endurance you can ride a bike or go for a brisk walk or run, and for many, nothing is better than a swim on a hot day. But be careful if you’re one that’s easily irritated by chlorine in pools. If you start to have breathing problems, get away from the pool.
3. Take Your Medication Before You Start Sneezing
Before allergy season begins, start taking your allergy medicine — never wait until you begin to show signs of allergies. Do you suffer from allergies in the spring? If so, begin taking your medicine around Valentine’s Day and continue through the summer. If you’ve used a medication that worked for you previously, take it again. If you’re a new allergy sufferer (which often happens if you move to a new climate and are exposed to new pollen types), speaking with your doctor or a pharmacist can help you decide between a prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
4. Gain Pollen Knowledge
When you listen to the weather during your local six o’clock news, you may have noticed that they tell the day’s pollen counts. Experts rate the amount of pollen that’s in the air during the day using a number system; each kind of pollen creates a different reading. For instance, for tree pollen, a number between 1 and 10 is low while 50 or above is high.
As an allergy sufferer, it’s a good idea to always keep track of the weed, mold, grass and tree pollen counts in your area. Check out websites that track these types of pollen nationwide such as the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).
5. Eye the Sky
Exercising in your backyard may seem like a great idea on those beautiful sunny days, but they might actually trigger worse allergy symptoms. It’s best to refrain from working out outside on windy, warm, dry days since these are the days that will have the highest pollen count.
Very humid days can be a problem for those who suffer from mold allergies because humidity promotes mold growth. If you step outside for a run and see a haze or it feels like the air is so thick you can slice it with a knife, then perhaps that’s not the ideal time to go for that run; it could cause you to have breathing difficulties.
Alternately, if it looks like it’s about to rain, that’s a good thing as rain will rid the air of pollen. So, if you don’t mind a little rain, this is the perfect time for you to do your outdoor fitness routine.
6. Listen to Your Body
It’s essential that you listen to your body. If you take allergy medication, you could experience unfavorable side effects such as excessive fatigue after your outdoor workout. If your allergy symptoms are so severe that they’re completely distracting or even dangerous, such as if you experience difficulty breathing, pushing through those to exercise outside just isn’t worth it.
Exercise is important for healthy living, and just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you shouldn’t — or can’t — take your fitness routine outside. If you’re conscious of the weather and other factors that trigger your specific allergy symptoms, you should be able to establish a routine that works for you and kill two birds with one stone: get in a good workout and enjoy the beautiful summer weather!