Outdoor Training and Seasonal Allergies AH-CHEW!

How to Workout and Run Symptom-free Outdoors

If you are like me and suffer with seasonal allergies like hay fever or asthma, training outdoors can be limiting.  Even getting a quick run around the neighborhood can trigger sneezing, difficult breathing, runny nose and itchy eyes. But don't worry, there are ways to prevent your head from going allergy-crazy this season. . .

Check out the following tips to keep you moving through the Spring Season!

  • Plan Workouts when Pollen Counts are Low

Pollen concentrations are usually at their highest from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. so make sure you plan your workouts at another time during the day.

  • Know your Personal Pollen Count

For many of us, we develop symptoms when the pollen count is 20 to 100 grains per cubic meter while others can tolerate much higher counts. Pay attention to the pollen counts in your area, keep track of your allergy symptoms and when they occur. Then you can choose to run outside when the pollen count is below your personal tolerance level.

Check your local pollen counts at sites such as pollen.com!

  • Avoid Watery & Itchy Eyes with the Right Shades!

If you suffer from itchy, watery eyes during allergy season, try wearing wraparound sunglasses when outside. You can also try using eyedrops about an hour before you head outside.

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  • Take Your Medication. . .

I am the WORST at this. As soon as I "feel good", I completely forget about my asthma medicine . . . NOT GOOD! If you have asthma, use your inhaler about 15-30 minutes before you start running, and make sure you warm up SLOWLY.

Be careful not to overdo it and always have your inhaler with you when working out.

  • Hit the Treadmill on a Windy Day

The wind spreads pollen throughout the air, so run indoors when it's windy. You may even want to avoid running outdoors the day after high winds.

  • Clean that Body and Shower Right after an Outdoor Workout

The worst allergy symptoms usually don't occur until about an hour after you come in contact with the pollen, so you may actually be able to run outdoors without experiencing symptoms. But to reduce your risk of symptoms after your outdoor workout, make sure you take a shower and put on clean clothes as soon as you get back.

  • Use your Allergy Medications

For best results, check with your doctor on how much/how often you should take your allergy medications on a regular basis. If you self medicate (such as an oral antihistamine pill) read the label and make sure you take hours before you participate outdoors.

  • Cover Your Nose and Mouth

You might want to consider wearing a mask or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. It will decrease the amount of pollen that gets into your nose and lungs.

  • Run after a Rainstorm . . . The BEST

WELLLL, here in California, this is wishful thinking. We are in a 4 year drought so when we get rain, we would rather run IN IT than run after it. But if you are experiencing a beautiful mother nature shower, running after the storm is the best because the pollen count  has dropped drastically. The rain washes pollen away and you are less likely to experience symptoms after it rains.

Take care of yourself and keep moving!