If you want to take advantage of the last month of summer weather, exercising outdoors is a great way to do it. However, for those with allergies, this may be a challenge. Below we review strategies for managing allergies while exercising outside.
Identify Your Triggers
The first step in managing your allergies is to get an allergy test to determine what exactly you’re allergic to. Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can avoid areas where you know those allergens are and choose times to exercise when those particular counts are low.
Consider the Time of Day
If you’re allergic to mold spores or ragweed pollen, you’ll want to exercise early in the morning or late in the evening, as those types of allergens tend to peak with the sun.
You can check when common allergens peak using the National Allergy Bureau’s online map.
Wearing a face mask and sunglasses can provide protection against allergens. Note that you should not wear a face mask if you’re doing vigorous exercise.
Clean Up After
To prevent symptoms after you’re done with your workout at Gabbard Park, be sure to shower and change clothes right away to avoid tracking allergens into your home.
Take an Allergy Medication
There are many types of allergy medications available that provide relief for most. Common over-the-counter (OTC) allergy meds include:
- Oral antihistamines.
- Nasal antihistamines.
- Nasal steroid sprays.
- Nasal constrictor sprays.
Nasal antihistamines are advantageous because they are a more targeted approach to delivering the medication to the parts of your body that need it most. Note that nasal constrictor sprays can be risky if taken for more than a couple days. Talk to your allergist about what the best option is for you.
For those with severe allergies who don’t respond well to medications, immunotherapy is a great option. Administered in either shot or drop form, immunotherapy works by introducing small amounts of allergen extracts so the body can build up a tolerance over time. Immunotherapy typically takes three to five years for maximum efficacy.
Bring Your Inhaler
If you have exercise-induced asthma or allergy-induced asthma, be sure to bring your inhaler when you work out. Take it as directed.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call Texas ENT & Allergy.