Can I Exercise with Seasonal Allergies?

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It seems as if you were stuck under the crush of winter forever, and finally the sun has come out and it’s great weather for exercising outside.

But with the fall of cold and flu season comes the rise of something just as annoying: Seasonal allergy season.

All that sniffling, sneezing, and peering through watery eyes may have you wondering if it’s safe to exercise when you’re in the grips of an attack of your seasonal allergies.


Is It Safe to Exercise If I Have Seasonal Allergies?

As long as you’re feeling up to it, exercising is perfectly safe for your seasonal allergies. 

In fact, your workout can even help your seasonal allergies!

Being sedentary leads to a sluggish flow of blood because your heart is pumping at your resting heart rate all the time. When you exercise, your blood flow speeds up.


This increase in blood flow means allergens are moved through your bloodstream more quickly and efficiently, decreasing inflammation and irritation.

Just be careful not to overexert yourself if you’ve got a runny nose, sore throat, or sinus pressure. Even some light exercise during your worst attacks is beneficial.


5 Tips for Exercising with Seasonal Allergies

If you choose to exercise while suffering from seasonal allergies, here are a few things to keep in mind to make your workout as good as possible:


  1. Consider the weather: In high pollen season, it’s best to exercise outdoors at night or right after it rains. If it’s dry or windy, stick with indoor exercise instead.

  2. Consider the time of day: Working out in the middle of the day means dryer, hotter temperatures, which can make your symptoms worse. Try shifting your workouts to nighttime or early mornings, when the dew helps keep some of the pollen at bay.

  3. Consider your exercise: If you’re having a bad attack, think of switching to a lower-impact routine such as yoga. But if you just can’t stand working out without your CrossFit or long run (We get it!), make sure you put your clothes straight in the washer and shower as soon as you get home. You also may want to consider using a nasal saline spray to get rid of any pollen you may have breathed in during your workout.

  4. Listen to your body: If you’re feeling run down, sluggish, or unwell, take a rest day. Your body is trying to send you signals that you need to slow things down, and pushing through while you’re battling allergies is going to make you feel worse, not better.

  5. Pre-medicate: Many people wait until they’re experiencing symptoms to take their antihistamines. But if you know you’ll develop allergy symptoms, like clockwork, as soon as pollen starts flying through the air, consider starting your medications a few weeks before pollen season starts. This gives your medicine enough time to build up in your body that you’re not fighting a losing battle all season long.


Types of Exercise to Consider for Seasonal Allergies

Some types of exercise are harder on those who suffer from seasonal allergies.

These workouts include most outdoor-based exercise, such as running, hiking, and biking. High-impact routines such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), CrossFit, and kickboxing also can be challenging for allergy sufferers, as they cause you to breathe harder which can make your symptoms worse.

However, if you’re committed to one of these exercise disciplines, or you’re an athlete in training, you absolutely can continue your training even though your allergies are acting up. Talk with your allergist about ways to modify your routine to make it easier for you.

If you’re having trouble finding a suitable activity, here are some suggestions:


  • Swimming

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

  • Weightlifting

  • Dancing

Ultimately, though, finding a way to make your workout routine work with your allergies is going to provide you the most benefit.

You won’t have to interrupt your fitness for sneezing and coughing, and your allergy symptoms may even decrease thanks to your workouts.


Help for Seasonal Allergies in Mississippi

At the Mississippi Asthma & Allergy Clinic, we believe that no one should be kept from their favorite activities by seasonal allergies. Our team of experienced allergists and asthma doctors work with you to diagnose and treat your seasonal allergies so you can get back to your life more quickly. Come visit one of our 5 convenient locations across Mississippi - Schedule an appointment today!