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How Exercise Makes Allergies Worse

Exercise and Seasonal Allergies: Mistakes That Make Symptoms Worse

If warmer Spring weather has you ditching the stuffy gym for outdoor workouts, seasonal allergies may have you reaching for tissues more than you're actually working out. Avoid these workout mistakes that can actually make your allergy symptoms worse.

  1. Not exercising with caution: Although the warmer weather is calling to you, directly being exposed to allergens will not only cause symptoms while exercising, but you'll also be dealing with itchy eyes and the like for hours afterward. Check the pollen count and humidity levels before heading out, and if they're high — usually in the morning — it's best to exercise behind closed doors and windows.
  2. Working out on carpet or a rug: A plush surface can trap allergens, so it's best to exercise on a hard, washable floor.
  3. Wearing your exercise clothes too long: If you can stand to spend a little time outdoors without symptoms getting in your way, be sure to change out of your exercise clothes as soon as you head indoors to limit your exposure to allergens. Wash clothes in between workouts, and wash yourself as well — your hair can trap allergens too. It's always best to shower immediately after a workout
  4. Skipping the shades: Sunglasses not only protect your eyes from damaging UV rays, but they can also act as a blocker to pollen. So before heading outside, slip on a pair of sunglasses.
  5. Taking meds incorrectly: In order for them to work properly, remember to take allergy medicines as advised by your doctor. Taking nasal sprays and inhalers such as Albuterol directly before heading out can actually make symptoms worse since they open your airways, making you more susceptible to allergens. So take these an hour or so before you plan on working out. Irrigating your sinuses with a neti pot can have the same effect, so neti your nose ahead of time as well.
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