How to continue exercising during allergy season from Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Union
With clear skies and temperatures on the rise, the weather is becoming increasingly inviting to get outdoors and exercise after a long, harsh winter. For those of you who have allergies, though, this spring weather brings about a new set of challenges, making it difficult to get active outdoors comfortably yet again.
Allergy season, which started in early spring and goes until late fall, is a period of time when trees, grasses and weeds continuously bombard the air with pollen. If you’re one of more than 35 million Americans with seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, this usually means you’ll be dealing with symptoms like an itchy nose, watery eyes and congestion sporadically for the better part of the next few months. To make matters worse, this is also the time of year when outdoor molds start to release airborne spores, which can also aggravate symptoms and cause a one-two punch of discomfort.
The East Coast has been experiencing record levels of pollen lately, as the cold weather from winter has caused many early spring plants to bloom late. So if your symptoms have been especially aggravated over the past few weeks, you can blame it on the winter. Exercising with allergies can be a real burden and discourage people with allergies from staying active. For those who see exercise as a chore to begin with, getting itchy and watery eyes, a stuffed, runny nose and experiencing breathing difficulties in the process tend to make the process even less desirable, and may lead to inactivity.
But the truth is, allergies should be no reason to short on your exercise, and there are plenty of ways to combat the symptoms it may lead to. On top of that, staying active will improve your health, which will help your body better cope with allergens overall and allow you to keep at it with less symptoms. Here are some important tips to help you limit the effects of allergens so you can stay active during allergy season:
- Watch the clock: pollen counts are highest between 5-10 a.m. and again at dusk, so try to plan your workouts for other times of the day when they’re lower; if you do exercise during peak times, wear a facemask and rinse your nose out with saline when you finish to remove any pollen
- Take note of the weather: avoid exercise on dry, warm or windy ways, which bring about the highest pollen levels; also try to avoid exercising in high humidity
- Choose exercise wisely: exercises that start and stop regularly, like tennis, may trigger symptoms; jogging, biking and swimming may be better options
- Medicate: take your medication(s) before exercising to reduce symptoms
- Listen to your body: if your medications make you feel tired or symptoms still bother you, you may want to consider exercising indoors
- Breathe properly: breathe through your nose, not through your mouth
- Keep a diary: take note of when and where symptoms are worst while exercising, and do your best to avoid triggers that may set them off
Just because allergies may be a bit of an inconvenience doesn’t mean they should prevent you from staying active and achieving optimal health. Follow these tips as you embrace the outdoors and you’ll be able to conquer allergies. For more information or to schedule an appointment for any aches or pains, contact Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation in Union, Edison, Woodbridge and Somerville, NJ at 908-393-9877.