Are Allergies Sabotaging Your Workout?
By Luke Douglas
A snotty nose and puffy eyes are no one’s idea of fun at any time, but it’s particularly torturous when you have to deal with it during a workout. The allergens in the air can easily overwhelm our senses and cause our body to release inflammatory chemicals called histamines, and this causes irritations and generally makes our whole exercising routine almost impossible to do. It’s particularly tough for people who prefer exercising outside and are more exposed to pollen, grass, and other allergens that are floating in the air. Luckily, there’s a solution to this, so if you want to prevent allergies from messing with your workout, we’ve got a few tips.
Figure out what’s causing the allergy
Anyone who experiences allergies should definitely see a doctor, particularly if they’re not sure what’s causing them. An allergist can easily test for common irritants and tell you exactly what you need to avoid, and how to avoid it. You could also ask them about getting allergy shots, especially if you feel like your life is significantly impacted by the problems you’re experiencing. Keep in mind that causes can change over time, so you should have a check up every few years so that you can monitor any possible changes. Over time you might find you have become immune to certain allergens while becoming vulnerable to others.
Grab some antihistamines
Antihistamines are OTC meds that can be a real lifesaver. They regulate your body’s response to allergens and prevent the release of histamines so your body stops reacting and causing red, teary eyes, congested nose, and other symptoms. If you are worried about these meds, you can always ask your doctor or the pharmacist to tell you which ones are the best to take. One thing to bear in mind is that these meds can be of great help, but they are still a temporary solution.
Consider some natural remedies
If you are more inclined to anti-allergy remedies that come straight from nature you should consider some of the following options. Honey is thought to be a great long term option, especially locally grown honey, this is explained by the theory that it might lower your allergic reaction at least to the pollen that the bees collect in your area in order to make honey. Another option is introducing spirulina into your nutrition. A recent study has shown that these blue-green algae have demonstrated certain antiallergic protective effects when it comes to allergic rhinitis. You can also consider apple cider vinegar as a great natural remedy for helping you deal with allergies. It is known to help with mucous production reduction and cleansing of your lymphatic system. The most effective way of using this natural remedy is swallowing a full tablespoon once a day. It definitely won’t be tasty, but it can do wonders for your symptoms.
Keep your home clean
During allergy seasons, the best thing you can do is stay inside and keep your home clean. This means that you have to air out your rooms frequently, wash the curtains and the bed linens, and keep your clothes clean as well. Take showers whenever you come inside to wash away the pollutants that might be clinging to your skin. Another great idea is to buy an air purifier. Find out which are the best air purifiers for allergies, and try to grab one that has a HEPA filter, which can significantly reduce the amount of allergens in your house.
Check the weather
Pollen is at its peak in the morning on sunny days, so it’s always a good idea to pay attention to the weather forecast. Most channels and websites actually let you know about the potential level of allergens in the air that day, though you can also use sites like pollen.com to help you stay in the loop. If you’re exercising outside, it’s better to do it in the afternoon, when the air clears up a bit, and to avoid areas and routes where you might trample over grass and trigger spores or pollen to spread quickly.
Protect your eyes and your head
Wearing running glasses and a baseball hat can be immensely beneficial in protecting you allergens outside. It will prevent anything from getting into your eyes and from sticking to your hair, especially if you wear hair gel or hairspray that makes it even easier for the spores to basically glue themselves to you. Hygiene is really the key here, so wash your face as soon as you come back home, and try to keep a little bottle of nasal spray in your pocket to help you decongest during the workout.
If you have asthma, it’s very, very important to keep yourself safe from allergens as they can cause an asthma attack. Allergies are pretty annoying, but they don’t have to control your life. Keep our tips in mind, and your life won’t have to be disrupted each time the pollen season comes.