running womanIt's that time of year when everyone wants to get outside and enjoy warmer weather after a long winter. The only downside to enjoying the outdoors in the spring is all the allergy triggers floating through the air. While you’re indoors it’s easy to feel protected from allergens because you can clean, filter the air, and use products like dehumidifiers, mattress encasements and other allergy proof bedding. By venturing outdoors you lose your ability to control the environment and are exposed to allergens you typically don't have to deal with inside. People who suffer from allergies often face harsh symptoms if they spend too much time outside. This spring’s allergy season is supposed to be particularly brutal. This may seem like bad news for allergy sufferers who are avid outdoor runners or who participate in spring outdoor athletics. How is it possible to participate in outdoor sports or go for a run when it’s impossible to stop sneezing or even breathe out of your nose? While it may be impossible to control the allergens outside, you don’t have to give up outdoor physical fitness for the whole season! If you take the proper precautions you’ll be able to ease your allergy symptoms and get your run or pick-up game in as well. Know Your Opponent If you have seasonal allergies, it’s extremely important to know what exactly it is you are allergic to. Knowing what triggers your symptoms will help you avoid running trails or athletic fields that are near the trees and plants that cause your allergies to flare up. The best way to know for certain what you are allergic to is to see an allergist. You may even be able to switch up your workout to a time of day or place your allergist recommended to help you avoid your allergy triggers. However, if your symptoms are more mild and you choose not to go to a doctor, it is best to pay attention to your surroundings when your symptoms are the worst and then avoid those areas. Check Pollen Counts & Plan Accordingly You can easily check daily pollen counts online. If you see the pollen count is supposed to be especially bad one day it may be best to opt for an indoor workout. It’s also important to remember that pollen is usually at its worst in the morning. Plan your run or outdoor workout at a different time of day to avoid the peak pollen hours. Clean Up After you return indoors from a run or workout always be sure to take measures to prevent pollen and other allergens from entering your home. It’s important that you shower immediately after you are done outside. This will help remove any pollen or allergens that are sticking to your skin. It is also a good idea to wash the clothes you ran or worked out in. You should even consider leaving your sneakers somewhere like a garage or basement. That way any lingering pollen will not spread to carpeting or other areas of your home.