The chorus of sneezes and sniffles says it loud and clear: allergy season has arrived. But while warmer weather makes us want to lace up our shoes and hightail it outside, seasonal allergies may make things so miserable that you're unable to finish a workout. Here are some tips for preventing, avoiding, and relieving allergies during an exercise routine.
Before exercising outdoors, you can do a few things to help make constant sneezing and itchy eyes a distant memory. While allergy medication may be the best option for many, you can also try these easy natural remedies, like using a Neti pot to flush out your nasal passages or eating a tablespoon of local honey to build up your immunity.
Do you know exactly what the offending allergen is? It could be a number of things, from certain grasses to trees to flowers. Make an appointment with an allergist for a skin test to determine what bothers you most so you can do your best to avoid it. Check the daily pollen counts in your area, and stick to indoor workouts when pollen counts are high. Avoid fields, woods, and parks, and instead opt for beaches or tennis courts. You may also want to avoid morning workouts, since pollen levels peak in the morning until around noon. If you can't bear to stay away from the great outdoors, try exercising just after a storm, since the rain can help wash away some of the pollen.
Although it sounds odd, try taking a hot shower before working out to open up breathing passages. Hot compresses on the face can also relieve congestion or sinus pressure. If your eyes are your worst symptom, try antihistamine drops or cold compresses on the eyes. And choose indoor workouts that make you sweat, such as a hot yoga class or intense cardio — it can help clear sinuses that are exceptionally blocked.