Allergy Season and Exercise!
Apr 14, 2012 - 10:38:19 AM
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Spring is here and so are the cherry blossoms, and flowering trees bringing allergies with it. Many of us look forward to taking our exercise outdoors when spring begins but many of us also suffer from allergies, which make our exercise less pleasant (We don't want to make our exercise unpleasant, do we?).
While most allergens are harmless triggering a runny or stuffed nose that makes breathing difficult, they can also trigger an asthma attack in some of us (please consult with your doctor how to manage this). Unfortunately, approximately 20 million Americans were diagnosed with asthma in 2003 with about 6 million of them children. Pollen, and pollutants can not only make us healthier exercisers have difficulty breathing, but exercise alone can exacerbate both asthma and allergy symptoms. Here then are a few things we might try to do, to lessen some of these annoying symptoms.
Reduce exercise intensity during high pollen count days. Exercise such as running with a high degree of movement that significantly increases our breathing rate also increases the rate of airborne pollens that we inhale (According to Chicago allergist Brian Smart, MD, spokesman for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology). Let's stick to indoor running and/or more allergy friendly exercises that we can do indoors such as yoga, swimming, Tai Chi, and one of my favorites, weight training. Let's exercise early in the day when the pollen count is usually lower.
Inhale through our nose when we exercise. When we inhale through our nose we warm the air (especially important for asthmatics). Cold air constricts our smaller air passages (it's still cool out), and this can mean less air, hence less oxygen delivered to our cells. Our nose is also lined with hair that can help to filter some of the smaller microscopic particles. We can also ask our doctor about nasal sprays that are available for relief of harmless allergens.
Avoid environmental pollutants as much as possible. Environmental pollutants such as second hand smoke, disinfectants, dust, and even aerosol sprays can make the mucus lining of our airways more permeable and inflamed. This can then worsen our allergy symptoms and make us more susceptible to respiratory difficulties over time with repeated exposure.
Eat some good fat! I'm referring to lot's of cold water fish such as salmon (wild of course). Cold water fish contains those important omega -3 fatty acids which studies suggest help inhibit the inflammatory response that is known to give us those runny noses, and teary eye symptoms even for harmless allergens.
Eat our fruits and veggies. Some studies also suggest that certain antioxidants such as Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can help to suppress the heightened inflammatory response as well. I like to recommend fresh raw pineapple which contains a very important anti-inflammatory enzyme, Bromelain (eating fresh pineapple on an empty stomach may be more helpful).
Want some additional information on spring allergies and asthma? Click on http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/outdoor-allergens.aspx Let's not let anything stop our exercise!
Happy Exercising this Spring!
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Here's to Our Health!
June M. Lay M.S.
Need some help with your exercise and weight goals this spring? Contact us for information on the new "10-week Personalized Get- in- Shape" Programs by emailing me or go http://www.junefit.com/serviceshp.htm Offered also are "Personal Exercise Only" Programs smartly designed to strengthen, condition, increase flexibility, and more with Ed Irace! Services provided in NYC, and nationally through Skype web service, email and phone when appropriate. Also this spring, Eat and Learn Lunches for corporate clients! Just email me for info.
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