Exercising with Allergies: How Seasonal Allergies Can Affect Your Workout

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There are more than 50 million people all across the country who suffer from seasonal allergies every year. For many of these people, doing something as simple as stepping outside for a few minutes in the spring or summer can cause everything from sniffling to shortness of breath.

If you’re one of the people who is forced to deal with allergies year in and year out, it can make it difficult for you to get enough exercise during the warmer months. It’s hard to push yourself when you feel down in the dumps due to allergies.

But there are some steps you can take to continue working out in spite of your seasonal allergies. Here is how to prevent them from ruining your usual workout routine.

Avoid Exercising Outside on Dry Days

One of the things you definitely want to avoid if you have seasonal allergies is pollen. Pollen can trigger your allergies and make you feel like crap if you’re not careful.

The pollen count can be high on just about any spring or summer day. But it’ll be very high on days when it’s dry outside. The dry conditions will allow pollen to float through the air and make it almost impossible for allergy sufferers to breathe.

On dry days, you should go to the gym to work out or get a work out in while you’re inside your home. It’s worth trying to avoid high pollen counts at all costs when you have allergies.

Exercise Very Early or Very Late in the Day

When it’s warm outside in the spring and summer, the last thing you want to do is hold workouts in the middle of the day. The sun will take a toll on you and could cause you to overheat in some cases.

Additionally, the pollen count tends to be at its highest in the late morning and early afternoon. So you’ll be walking right into a bad situation if you try to go for a run or ride your bike during those times.

Instead, limit your allergy symptoms by getting your workouts in either very early in the morning or later on in the day. This will decrease the chances of your allergies having a big effect on you while you’re working out.

Choose the Right Exercises During Allergy Season

Do you enjoy going for long runs or taking part in CrossFit workouts outside as part of your exercise regimen? That’s all well and good when it’s not allergy season, but those kinds of workouts aren’t ideal in the spring and summer for those with seasonal allergies.

Rather than trying to run 7 miles or spend an hour outside doing CrossFit, why not choose less strenuous exercises that won’t leave you gasping for air? For example, outdoor yoga will give you a great workout without putting your health at risk.

You may have to tone the intensity of your workouts down just a touch. But it’s what’s best for your body in the long run and will allow you to survive another allergy season without any major catastrophes.

Keep an Inhaler Handy

Not everyone who has allergies has asthma. But there are quite a few people who have both allergies and asthma, and it can make working out in the spring and summer even harder.

If you’re one of the more than 25 million Americans who have asthma, you shouldn’t ever work out—allergy season or not—without having your inhaler nearby. In the event that you suffer an asthma attack during a workout, your inhaler will help you breathe easy and prevent further complications.

Take Allergy Medications

People who have seasonal allergies are often told to take over-the-counter antihistamines by their doctors. Doctors recommend OTC drugs like Zyrtec and Allegra to their patients.

If your doctor has told you that you would benefit from using these kinds of medications, make sure that you’ll be OK to exercise while you’re taking them. Speak with your doctor about your specific exercise routine and see if there is anything you’ll need to worry about.

Use Massage and Aromatherapy for Relief

OTC antihistamines aren’t the only things that’ll provide you with relief during allergy season. You should also consider trying to use massage and aromatherapy to manage your allergy symptoms.

Massages have been shown to provide people’s immune systems with a boost and help them reduce the effect that allergy symptoms have on them. Aromatherapy has also been shown to relieve congestion and make allergies more tolerable.

Learn more about how massage and aromatherapy might be able to benefit you if you just can’t seem to get relief from your allergies.

When in Doubt, Sit It Out!

There are going to be plenty of times during allergy season when you don’t feel up to going for a run or doing some other kind of workout. There is nothing wrong with taking a day off and giving your body a chance to recover!

Allergies can wreak havoc on both your body and mind during the spring and summer. They can make you feel awful and prevent you from giving it your all when you’re working out.

Instead of trying to push yourself through it and putting your health in jeopardy, take a day or two off before getting back to it. You’ll make it easier to manage your allergy symptoms moving forward when you take this approach. 

Don’t Let Seasonal Allergies Get the Best of You

Whether you have allergy symptoms that are on the mild side or symptoms that make it tough to stay outside for even just a short period of time, you don’t have to allow seasonal allergies to keep you down.

By following the tips listed here, you can continue to work out without making your symptoms worse. The key is to pick your spots and find the right days and times to exercise. It’ll help you maximize your workouts and keep your allergies at bay.

Check out our blog for more tips on overcoming asthma during your workouts.