When the weather changes, we all know what that means: allergy season is on its way! This may cause many of us to groan – after all, everyone is susceptible to allergies regardless of age, and allergies can actually cause some serious complications for those with cardiovascular health issues. But hiding indoors all allergy season isn’t going to help, either!
Exercising with allergies may seem difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. In fact, the key is exercising the right way so you can take care of your allergies and your body.
Below are our top seven tips for exercising with allergies from WebMD:
- Know when allergy season begins and ends. Allergy season is highly predictable as it really only varies by a few days every year, but knowing when allergies really start to pick up in your area is key to prevention. Pay particular attention to any allergens that usually affect you and start taking medication before it really hits.
- Check the weather. This tip may seem obvious, but something as simple as checking your area’s pollen level can help you prevent allergies. On days when the pollen count is particularly high, it may be best to stay indoors. But don’t worry – you can still stay active with these weather-proof indoor exercises. An added tip: pollen levels are typically highest on warm, breezy mornings and lowest on cool, rainy days.
- Know when to exercise. If it fits into your schedule, it’s best to exercise either in the morning or late evening as pollen levels are typically low during this time (but remember to check before you go outside). The worst time to exercise is around noon and in the early afternoon as this is when pollen levels peak, but it’s important to note that pollen levels are never at zero, so just be cautious.
- Wear proper clothing. If you’re exercising during the morning or late evening, it can be surprisingly chilly. Be sure to bundle up before you go outside to exercise, especially if you have sensitive airways.
- Protect your lungs and eyes. This is a great tip if you are really sensitive to allergens. You can protect your lungs by covering your mouth and nose with a scarf or bandanna. To protect your eyes, it’s not uncommon for people to wear goggles. You may feel silly doing these things, but these simple tricks will help you prevent allergies, especially during the height of allergy season.
- Less intense activities count as exercise too! Don’t feel like you have to do a strenuous workout routine to get these health benefits. It can actually backfire during allergy season! Why? You breathe faster during intense exercises, and the faster you breathe, the more allergens you inhale. Less intense exercises that are perfect for allergy season include weight training, yoga and stretching exercises.
- Know what to do after you exercise. After coming inside after exercising, you could be covered in pollen and not even realize it, which is why it’s a good idea to change your clothes and put them in the laundry right away. Taking a shower will also rinse off any pollen in your hair or on your skin.
Just remember: as long as you are proactive about preventing and treating your allergies, exercising with allergies is in fact possible!