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Exercise despite allergies
Getting just a little exercise outdoors can be a challenge when you have allergies. However, regular exercise has the potential to contribute more to optimal health than any other health practice. The benefits of regular exercise include:
•Lessening of tension, depression, anxiety, smoking, drug use, and incidence of heart disease and cancer.
•Increased self-esteem, positive attitudes, joy, spontaneity, mental acuity, aerobic capacity, energy, muscular strength and flexibility.
•Improved quality of sleep.
So what are you waiting for? Here are some tips to get you exercising despite your allergies.
Check pollen levels
Check a web site that tracks pollen counts for trees, mold, weeds, and grass across the U.S. Just search on the internet for “pollen counts, add the name of your city.”
Watch the Clock
Not all pollens are created equal. Ragweed counts usually peak in early midday, while grass pollen counts are higher in late afternoon and early evening. Plan your workouts for other times of the day when levels are lower. If you’re in an urban area, winds can bring the pollen in town so that levels peak around midday.
Consider wearing a face mask if you must go out during high-pollen times. When you get home, do these things: leave your shoes outside if possible; change your clothes; wash your hands; and rinse out your nose with saline using your Neti pot to get rid of any grains inside.
Watch for weather conditions
Dry, warm, windy days bring the highest pollen levels which can aggravate eye problems including a noncontagious form of pinkeye that causes itching, redness and tearing.
High humidity can cause problems such as breathing difficulty. Humidity also fuels mold growth, which can trigger symptoms for sensitive individuals.
Rain clears the air so afterwards would be a good time to go outdoors if you have allergies.
Types of exercise
Swimming and biking are excellent for building up your lungs. Chlorine in indoor pools can be irritating to some people. Leave the area if you have trouble breathing.
Running in cold weather can trigger symptoms but they are actually spasms in your airways rather than allergy. With proper treatment, you should be able to do any sport or activity without a problem.
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