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Five Tips for Outdoor Exercise While Managing Allergies

There are plenty of indoor exercises that can be done during allergy season to avoid inhaling allergens. Some of these include weight training in the gym, swimming, indoor circuit training, and yoga. However, if you’re a die-hard runner or biker willing to brave the storm of pollen, here’s some tips to best manage allergies while getting your daily fix of fresh air.
Run after the rain. When pollen counts are high, the best time to run outside is right after rain. Try to avoid outdoor exercise on dry, windy days.

Prioritize outdoor exercise in the morning. Morning dew helps to keep pollen in check. Lace up those running shoes right after waking up to avoid worsening allergy symptoms. If you’re specifically allergic to ragweed, plan your workout very early in the morning or late in the evening when ragweed pollen counts are lowest.

Rinse off the post-workout pollen.

After an outdoor workout session during high pollen season, pollen will stick to your hair, skin, and clothes. This can trigger allergy symptoms even after you’ve gone inside. To avoid this, take a shower and change into clean clothes after your workout.

Avoid lawn mowers. Lawn mowers send pollen flying into the air, ready to be inhaled by unsuspecting victims. If you’re out on a jog and see or hear someone mowing their lawn, try rerouting to avoid running past it.

Check in with an allergist. Visit an allergist to determine what type of pollen you are allergic to and what medications will work best for treating symptoms. Outdoor fitness enthusiasts affected by allergies can keep their workouts comfortable by strategizing a personalized plan of care with their allergist that takes their fitness regimen into consideration.

SOURCES: 1) Tips for Exercising with Allergies. The Academy of Otarlaryngic Allergies website. http://www.aaoallergy.org/patient- resources/patient-resourcestips-exercising-allergies/. Accessed Feb 25, 2019. 2) Lampel L. How to exercise during allergy season. CNN website. https://www.cnn.com/2014/05/06/health/upwave-exercise-allergy/ index.html. Updated May 6, 2014. Accessed Feb 25, 2019.

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