Exercise Through August Allergies
Every summer, I’m determined to exercise outdoors as much as possible before cold weather and shortened daylight hours move my workouts back into the gym. But then late-August rolls around, and for a few weeks, I’m lucky if I can even muster up enough motivation to tie my sneakers. Why? Because I can’t stop sneezing. Ragweed season starts right around now in most parts of the country, and here on the East coast, the heat and humidity we’ve endured these last few months has led to what one New Jersey allergy expert is calling a “bumper crop” of ragweed.
I’m not the only one who has an annual allergy-related bout of exercise apathy. According to a new survey conducted by allergy supplement maker Allergease, 48.5 percent of those with allergies report working out less during peak sneeze season. About 23 percent of those surveyed said their routine doesn’t change, but their performance suffers.
Late-summer sniffles may seem unavoidable, but don’t invest in an economy pack of Kleenex just yet. Here are a few ways you can strike back:
Reschedule Your Workout. Move your morning run to lunchtime or after work. Generally, pollen peaks between 6 and 10 AM, says Frederick M. Schaffer, MD, chief medical officer of United Allergy Services.
Avoid Allergy-Aggravating Foods. Eating fruits and veggies is never a bad idea, but during allergy season, it’s important to pick the right ones. Many seasonal allergy sufferers are also affected by oral allergy syndrome, a reaction that occurs when pollen crosses paths with proteins from certain fruits and vegetables in the body, causing your lips to tingle and swell and your mouth to itch.
Eat More Yogurt. Probiotic yogurt may prevent your body from overreacting to outdoor allergens, according to a study published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy. Allergy sufferers who consumed a daily dose of yogurt containing the good bacteria Lactobacillus casei had lower levels of an antibody that triggers the release of histamine, the key player in runny noses, watery eyes, and nonstop sneezing.
Click here for more tips for exercising through allergy season.
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