Spring is finally here! Which means you may be tempted to bust out your running shoes, hit the pavement, and soak-up some much-needed rays of sunshine. However, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, a quick jog might have you in tears before you’re even halfway through your playlist.
Not surprisingly, the irritants in the air this time of year, combined with the deep breathing that comes from an intense outdoor workout, can actually worsen your seasonal allergy symptoms. Luckily there are ways you can minimize these symptoms and still enjoy the beautiful weather.
Be selective about when you work out
Pollen counts tend to be at their peak during the afternoon, so plan on going out for exercise in the early morning or once the sun goes down. This way you will also avoid the hottest parts of the day when the risk for dehydration and heat stroke are highest. Just remember to bring a flashlight if you are exercising in minimal sunlight.
Reduce the intensity of your routine
On days when the pollen count is a little higher, you might tone down your workout so that you are not overloading your lungs with irritating allergens. Instead of running, take a bike ride or practice yoga in the park to lower the intensity of your workout. Exercising in areas like the tennis court and swimming pool may also be helpful, since you will not be as exposed to grass, trees, and flowers.
Use eye protection
If teary eyes are a problem for you during allergy season, a pair of sports goggles may be a worthy investment for your workout routine. Alternatively, you can keep your eyes shielded with a pair of UV blocking sunglasses.
Keep your workout gear clean
You will want to avoid dragging allergens into your house by washing your clothes and taking a shower immediately after you return home. While this may not provide relief if you are already experiencing allergy symptoms, it will minimize your allergen exposure indoors.
Already suffering from springtime allergies? Use the code below to take five dollars off your next MeMD consultation when you request a visit for seasonal allergies: