Keeping up your game with hay fever

Exercise is meant to help us move forward, but sometimes allergens can get in the way. However, if you are prepared, hay fever doesn’t have to wreak havoc. Here are a few tips to help you get on the front foot:

Check the seasons1

Pollen seasons are predictable, although they might vary by a few days from year to year. So if you know that you're allergic to a certain type of pollen, find out when the season starts in your area. Then you can anticipate problems by practicing the other tips below.2

Watch the weather

Information about your local pollen level is available on the Internet or in your local paper. If pollen counts are supposed to be particularly high on a given day, you can play it safe by staying inside. In general, pollen counts are highest on warm and breezy mornings and low on cool and rainy days.2

Choose your time

The time of day you choose for outdoor exercise matters. "If you can, exercise in the morning or late in the evening as most pollen levels peak early afternoon.2

Protect your eyes and lungs

To block pollen and other irritants from getting into your system during outdoor exercise, some people exercise with a mask or bandanna over their nose and mouth. Another trick is to wear goggles to protect your eyes from irritation from allergies.3

Change your clothes and shower after outdoor exercise

During pollen season, your clothing and hair could be covered with pollen. So when you get home, it's not a bad idea to strip off your clothes and toss them in the laundry. You could also take a shower to rinse off any allergen left on your skin or in your hair.3

1 Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Mayo Clinic. Available from (accessed 10 July 2018)

2 Exercise outdoors - even with allergies. Allergies guide. WebMD. Available at (accessed 10 July 2018)

3 All about Hay Fever. Otrivine. Available at (accessed 10 July 2018)