Can You Exercise with Allergies? – 5 Tips to Try Exercise During Allergy Season
People with allergies may find it daunting to work out outdoors. With all that sneezing and sniffling that goes with the condition, having second thoughts about getting even a quick exercise with allergies is only to be expected.
Fortunately, there are ways to get in a bit of outdoor exercise, even if you have different types of allergies. This article will help you determine whether it is safe to exercise with allergies and learn how to do it without triggering the symptoms.
- 1 How Do Allergies Begin?
- 2 Is it Possible to Exercise with Allergies?
- 3 5 Tips for Exercising Outdoors During Allergy Season
- 4 1. Time it right.
- 5 2. Know your allergens.
- 6 3. Choose your exercise wisely.
- 7 4. Take your medication before exercising.
- 8 5. Pay attention to the sky.
- 9 Don’t Shrug Off Symptoms.
How Do Allergies Begin?
Before you can overcome the challenges of exercising with allergies, you must first understand why those allergic symptoms emerge in the first place.
An allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to a foreign particle or substance that is otherwise harmless to other people. These include pollen, pet dander, insect stings, dust, mold, and other allergens.
During an allergic reaction, the immune system produces antibodies that consider foreign particles that enter the body to be harmful even though they are not. When this happens, the antibodies’ reaction causes inflammation in different parts of the body, including the sinuses, airways, skin, and even the digestive system.
Is it Possible to Exercise with Allergies?
The short answer is, “Yes.”
Experts say that so long as you feel up for the task, it is perfectly safe to exercise even with allergies.
As a matter of fact, working out is considered helpful for people with allergies.
You see, being sedentary (or resting all the time) can be counterproductive since it can result in a sluggish blood flow. But when you work out, your heart starts to pump blood faster. When this happens, the allergens move through your bloodstream much quicker, thereby reducing irritation and inflammation.
Just remember to avoid overexerting yourself, especially if you’re experiencing sinus pressure, runny nose, or sore throat.
It also helps to follow your doctor’s recommendations when performing any physical activity. This is essential if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms or drowsiness from taking antihistamine tablets to manage them.
5 Tips for Exercising Outdoors During Allergy Season
Before you go out for some dopamine-inducing exercise at the park, consider these five tips to make your outdoor workout routine as beneficial as it can be:
1. Time it right.
You may need to avoid going out at specific times of the day, depending on what triggers your allergy.
For example, if you’re allergic to ragweed, you may want to schedule your jogs late in the afternoon or early evening. While pollen count from grasses is much higher during that time of day, those from ragweed – which is what triggers your allergic symptoms – tend to peak early in the middle of the day.
2. Know your allergens.
Different allergens are more prevalent during specific times of the day. But for your workout scheduling to be more effective, you need to learn as much as you can about your specific allergens.
For pollen, you need to research the number rating that experts use to define the amount of pollen in the air within a day. This will vary based on different types of pollens (as reflected in the first tip), so be sure to pay attention to the details.
For instance, tree pollen level at 90 and above is considered high, while anywhere between one and 14 is deemed low. You can check local websites that track pollen counts in your area for mold, weeds, grass, and trees.
In case you need to go out when the pollen count is peaking, be sure to wear a mask. Once you get home, rinse your nose with a saline solution to eliminate any particles you may have inhaled. You can also use nasal sprays for this purpose.
3. Choose your exercise wisely.
While exercising is generally okay for people with allergies, certain forms of workout are still better than others.
For example, swimming is excellent for boosting lung strength, but some people have chlorine sensitivity that can cause irritation and breathing difficulties.
Similarly, biking and running are great for getting fresh air and elevating your heart rate, but doing so in cold weather may lead to uncomfortable symptoms (not because of allergies but due to spasms in your airways).
If you’ve been experiencing worse symptoms, you should consider switching to low-impact exercises like yoga. But if you cannot go without your daily run, toss your clothes straight to the washer and take a shower immediately upon arriving home.
Rinse your airways with saline solution or use a nasal spray as instructed previously. You can also consult your doctor for recommendations for your specific condition.
4. Take your medication before exercising.
Another way you can also keep allergy symptoms at bay is to take medications preemptively, around a few weeks before the allergy season. Your doctor might also advise you to take a bronchodilator ten to 15 minutes (for short-acting) or one hour (for long-acting medicine) before working out if you experience exercise-induced asthma.
Warning: Self-medicating is discouraged. It would be best to seek a licensed medical professional’s advice before taking medicines.
5. Pay attention to the sky.
Want to exercise outdoors but not sure if it is safe because of your allergies? Look up at the sky.
The weather is a good indicator of whether it’s safe for you to work out or even perform your usual physical activities outside.
- Windy, dry, and warm days bring the highest pollen count, so it’s best to stay indoors during this weather.
- High humidity fosters mold growth, which can be a problem if you’re allergic to it. You might also find it difficult to breathe if the air feels heavy from all the moisture.
The best time to go outdoors is after a rain. Besides the beautiful rainbow that comes after it, a rain shower also gets rid of the pollen and other allergens floating in the air. This is why it is highly recommended for people with allergies to head outdoors after a rainy day.
Don’t Shrug Off Symptoms.
The worst thing you can do when you have allergic symptoms – or any sickness at that – is to force yourself to move. If you feel sluggish, run-down, or unwell, take the day off to rest. These symptoms are your body’s way of telling you it’s best to slow down.
If you still feel exhausted or experience symptoms even after you take medicine following an outdoor exercise, it may be best to bring your workouts indoors.