When the sun begins to peek out from behind the clouds after a long winter, you probably can't wait to spend every second possible outdoors. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of the change of season is to take your workout outside. However, that step can be easier said than done if you struggle with allergies triggered by pollen, grass or other allergens, courtesy of nature. Between sneezing and itchy eyes, pushing yourself to perform your best may seem next to impossible as soon as you leave the house.
Though it may be a challenge, you don't have to let your allergies keep you inside! As the weather becomes warmer, take your workout outside with these tips.
Assess your allergies
First thing's first: If you haven't talked to a doctor about your allergies, make an appointment. Depending on the extent of your problem, you might need to put your outdoor activities on the back burner for a while. But even if your allergies aren't that severe, seeing a doctor can help you to identify the precise things that trigger your symptoms so you have a better idea of what to avoid.
Assuming your allergies aren't extreme, you might be clear to take your exercise outdoor, perhaps on the condition that you use an inhaler beforehand or take a prescription. Regardless, consider starting with a shorter workout to see how you feel before jumping into your normal routine. Your Baby G pink series digital watch can help you track the time so you know when to head back indoors. You should also check the pollen levels in your area, which you can find at Pollen.com. If it's a particularly bad day, you might want to opt for an indoor workout instead.
Prep for your time outside
Though you can't make your allergies go away altogether when you want to work out, you can take certain steps to limit your exposure. In an interview with Women's Health magazine, Susan Paul, an exercise physiologist and program director who works at the Orlando Track Shack Foundation, recommended wearing wraparound sunglasses to limit the allergens that reach your eyes. You can also cover your mouth and nose with a bandana if you need extra protection.
To maximize your performance during your workout, keep your triggers in mind when you plan your exercise for the day. For instance, if you're allergic to grass, soccer may not be the best activity, Dr. Richard Weber, a past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, said in an interview with Everyday Health. If pollen is a problem, it would probably be better to avoid windy days when the allergens may be more present in the air.
Once you finish your workout, take a shower immediately to wash pollen and other allergens off your body. Otherwise you may find that your symptoms worsen even though you're indoors.