Exercising with allergies can be a challenge. In some cases, allergic reactions can bring about a lack of energy that makes it difficult to stick to a routine. In others, they can lead to respiratory symptoms that make all but the lightest exercise seem just about unfeasible. And on top of these general concerns, exercising at home with allergies can be even trickier.
Most of us don’t have a whole lot of equipment or machines at home, which means we wind up with limited options — typically including things like neighborhood jogs, or high-intensity interval training. But these can be some of the most difficult exercises to pull off when you’re suffering from allergies….
None of these difficulties should keep you from getting your exercise though! It won’t always be easy, but the following tips should give you some good ideas for how to stay fit even when your allergies are acting up.
Seek Symptom Relief
Naturally, if you could simply get rid of your allergies so as to exercise more easily, you would do so. That’s not typically possible, but you can lessen the effects of allergies in a way that might lead to windows of time during which you feel better equipped for physical activity.
We’ve discussed natural remedies for allergy relief like NAET in the past, covering everything from removing dust-collecting items from your environment to regularly washing sheets in hot water.
Steps like these won’t eliminate the potential for symptoms, but they can certainly reduce the number and/or severity of reactions you may have during any given allergy season. It may well be that in the time following a thorough cleaning, then, you’ll have a window during which you feel better able to do some simple, home exercise.
Workout to Your Energy Level
With or without symptom relief, it’s generally a good idea to work out to whatever energy level you’re feeling also. We noted above that one of the effects of allergies can be a general lack of energy, and if this is what you’re feeling, you should adjust your exercise routine accordingly.
This matter has been discussed by Fitness and Wellness News, which suggests that forcing strenuous exercise with a low energy level will typically only exacerbate allergy symptoms.
So, rather than trying to “push through” if you’re feeling drained, you should ease up on your exercise (without necessarily skipping it altogether).
If you typically jog, try a walk instead; if you do push-ups and sit-ups at home, see if you can manage your typical routine with fewer reps or sets. Lightening the load can allow you to maintain a routine and get a workout in without as much risk of making your symptoms worse.
While not all allergies cause breathing difficulty, it’s a common symptom. There’s strong correlation between seasonal allergies and asthma, and even some without asthma will sometimes feel respiratory effects. It’s for this reason that CNN's recommendations for allergy-friendly exercises focus largely on workouts that don’t cause heavy breathing.
Heavy breathing — even during an outdoor run in warm weather — dries out and cools off nasal passages in a way that can exacerbate respiratory symptoms. By contrast, other workouts can help the nasal passages to maintain warmth and moisture in a way that keeps symptoms from becoming too problematic. Swimming is actually recommended for this reason, but if you’re exercising at home we’d point you toward yoga as well.
This is an effective, full-body exercise that can help you to tone muscle and burn calories, without ever making you huff and puff. Plus, yoga's focus on the breath can also have plenty of extra health benefits. One such perk, according to Painfree Working's guide to breathing exercises, is stress relief — something that many of us certainly need from time to time.
Yoga can introduce you to techniques like deep breathing and the Lion's Breath. Overall, you may find that it’s one of the more manageable types of exercise when your allergies are acting up.
Consult a Trainer
This year, we’ve seen gyms and other exercise facilities close down, and most people — if they’re exercising at all — are doing so at home. Many professional trainers, however, have also taken to the internet to reach potential clients.
A professional trainer will be able to help you structure a routine based on your own needs and limitations. Even if said trainer doesn’t have specific allergy-related experience, he or she will be able to learn what works for you, and suggest effective exercise accordingly.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas about how to stick to your fitness routine when allergies strike! It can be tricky, but by managing symptoms, working out strategically, and possibly seeking professional help, you can do it.
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Specially written for allergystore.com
By: Roelyn Juvilyn
Roelyn Juvilyn is an LA-based yoga teacher. Having grown up with allergic rhinitis, She learned from an early age the value of deep, steady breathing. When she's not working, She likes embroidery and volunteering at the local care home.