Exercising Outdoors with Allergies

A group workout.

Workouts are supposed to be good for your health. But if you’re exercising outside when pollen levels are high, your allergy symptoms can make you feel worse than ever. It’s impossible to pollen-proof outdoor workouts, but here are some strategies that can help:

  • Know when allergy season starts in your area and plan ahead. Different pollens and molds come out at different times of the year. If you react to these seasonal allergens, start taking your allergy medication before the season begins. Or simply opt to exercise indoors during that time of the year.
  • Plan you walk or run for the morning or late in the day so that you’re breathing in fewer pollen particles. Pollen levels tend to be highest during the middle of the day and afternoon.
  • Be sure it’s really allergies that you are responding to. People may have exercise symptoms like difficulty catching their breath that have nothing to do with pollen levels. If your symptoms feel unfamiliar, see your doctor.
  • When you return from your workout, remove your clothes and take a shower right away to wash the pollen from your skin and hair. That way, it won’t be able to enter your lungs.