If the spring or summer pollen has you sneezing and itching, you may be wondering how you can exercise. Did you know that exercise can be soothing for the symptoms of allergies? Here are some reasons why.
Why Exercise Helps
According to Time’s Healthland, exercise is needed to maintain a healthy immune system. It helps to clear out the body, as it improves circulation. The deeper breathing aids an inflamed nose and relieves nasal congestion for the short term. Additionally, a hyperactive immune system can be calmed by staying fit and strong.
Pollen, Pollen, Everywhere
If you love spring running, then you will have to plan this activity so the pollen levels outdoors do not aggravate your allergies. You can run when the outdoor pollen is better; the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. have the highest pollen levels of the day. You might also want to avoid wooded areas and paths with abundant flowering plants.
If running or doing outdoor exercise, you may want to wash your clothing afterwards, as pollen will be landing on it. You may also want to shower or wash your hair, as pollen will also be present.
Consider doing water activities when exercising, such as kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding. This will get you away from the grass and trees. You’ll have fun as well.
Working Out Indoors
Aquatic exercise is great for the allergy sufferer. An indoor pool provides humid air, which helps clear the sinuses and is easy on the lungs, according to Fitness & Wellness.
Simple exercises that focus on breathing are helpful for those with seasonal allergies. For example, yoga and Pilates concentrate on deeper breathing, which may be helpful in strengthening your lungs. For those with asthma, resistance training and exercise that involves stop-and-go are preferred.
Stand Up and Breathe
Since lying down may increase sinus pressure, if that is a symptom, you will want to focus on clearing the sinuses. Aerobic workouts, with a focus on cardio, can help relieve the congestion. However, workouts that are too intense could make matters worse. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology emphasizes that overdoing physical activity could increase symptoms rather than help.
Remember to Warm Up Before and After
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, warm-up exercises help reduce allergic symptoms. Ten minutes of stretching can boost cardio exercise and lessen those symptoms of your allergy.
After exercise, a hot steamy shower or visit to a steam room will clear the sinuses and the lungs. Follow with cooler water and breathe freely again.
You can stay fit and strong during allergy season by finding the best type of exercise to make you strong. You can also stay comfortable during the spring and summer, when trees, grasses and ragweed are in bloom.