Exercise and Allergy

By Heather Legg

Since I’ve been writing so much about food and entertaining and holidays and allergies, I’m going to get the jump on the oh so common New Year’s Resolution and mention exercise.

With allergies, you are still good to exercise. Sometimes with a cold, especially if you’re running a fever, you probably want to take a few days off, but even if you’re suffering from nasal allergies, you’re still good to exercise. It may not get rid of your allergies, but it will probably help you feel better. Follow your body’s instincts to know how much to exercise while experiencing allergies, and you never know, it just might help with your symptoms.

If your nose is really stuffed up and you’re experiencing a lot of congestion, you may want to take an antihistamine or decongestant before you hit the gym or the pavement. The more open your sinuses are, the better you’ll be able to breathe and breathing through your nose as opposed to your mouth helps filter out toxins and other allergens you may otherwise be inhaling.

Make sure you drink lots of fluids while exercising, especially if your nose is still stuffed up. Mouth breathing tends to dry you out more, also chapping lips, so extra fluids is really important.

If you’re exercising outdoors as opposed to a gym, be aware of allergens in the air. If you’re allergic to certain pollens, try to stay away from those. It’s best to exercise when the temperature is on the cool side and there’s little wind. The wind tends to stir things around. Pollen counts are usually lower in the morning and after a light rain is a great time to have a lower pollen count exercise session.

Also, when exercising outdoors with allergies, don’t forget the same guidelines for indoor exercise – plenty of fluids, medicine if you need it and try to concentrate on nose breathing.

Remember, the better condition your body is in, the better it can fight allergens. It’s a good time of year to get back in the gym, drink more water, less wine and eat lots of fruit and veggies. Take the New Year’s Resolution that says you’ll take good care of yourself.

Happy New Year!

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