Five top tips for physical activity with hay fever

Now that we’ve reached the warmer months of Spring and Summer, many of us will be keen to take our physical activity to the great outdoors – whether that’s to take a stroll in the local park, cycling to and from work, or even taking part in regular rounds of golf. For some of us however, we might feel unable or reluctant to get active outdoors during these months, due to hay fever season coinciding with this time of year. Due to the pollen falling, you might experience watery eyes, a stuffy nose or a sore throat. This can not only affect our performance when it comes to physical activity, but it certainly can affect the enjoyment factor of moving more outdoors.

Thankfully, there are a few steps that we can take to ensure that we keep ourselves moving during these months, without having to suffer from those unwanted symptoms. Here are five ways that we can reduce the impact of hay fever on our physical activity:

  • Plan your physical activity in advance

    Taking the time to consider your activity before you get moving can make a big difference when it comes to preventing the symptoms of hay fever. Firstly, check a pollen forecast in the morning to get an idea for how high the pollen count is for the day. Whatever type of activity you are taking part in, consider the environment that you’ll be in. If you normally run through a park, consider avoiding the woodland areas, where you will find more pollen. Instead, consider sticking to paved roads or even taking a trip towards the seaside, if you live close by.

  • Time your activity for the best results

    It’s equally important to time your activity correctly, to avoid the highest pollen count. Hay fever can affect people differently, as some of us are allergic to tree pollen, while others are affected more by grass. Look into when the pollen is highest for your allergen and try to avoid this time of day. This might require you to adjust your schedule from what you normally would do, but it can be a refreshing change to take your usual route at a different time of day

  • What you wear can make a big difference!

    To avoid swelling and sore eyes that so many suffer with from hay fever, wearing a pair of wraparound sunglasses is a great way to keep the allergens away. Applying a small amount of petroleum jelly or coconut oil around your nostrils can help to create a barrier, preventing you from breathing the pollen in.

  • After your activity

    Pollen also has the unfortunate trait of sticking to your hair, body and clothes, which can cause the symptoms to linger even after we’ve returned inside. It’s especially good practice to shower and change clothes soon after physical activity during these months, to get rid of any pollen that might still be clinging onto you.

  • Exercising indoors

    Unfortunately, there are still some days where the pollen count is so high that the previous preventative measures might not be enough to stop your allergic reactions. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon any plans of physical activity that day. If you’ve already set time aside to be active, consider how you can still use that time at home. Try to have a “Plan B” activity that can be completed indoors that would take roughly the same amount of time and energy. This can also be a great backup option for any rainy days that might also affect your plans.

These are our top tips for keeping active with hayfever and we hope they help to keep you moving. Are there any tips you have for beating hayfever? Why not share them in the comments!

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