- Antihistamines should not affect your exercise or your recovery.
- Be sure to choose the right type to avoid drowsiness and fatigue.
- For allergy to pollen who like to exercise outside, reduce exposure by wearing a mask.
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Exercising outside can be difficult if you suffer from it
According to u CDC, 19.2 million people have been diagnosed with hay fever in the last 12 months and an estimated 10-30% of Americans have hay fever.
Seasonal allergies can leave people sick struggling to see through watery eyes, sniffing, sneezing, and generally feeling bad, all of which can make the exercise harder.
However, you don’t need to give up outdoor workouts if you can manage your flare-ups, Sanjeev Jain, MD, a certified allergist and immunologist at Columbia Allergy, told Insider.
“It’s important to properly manage your allergic symptoms, especially if you have comorbid atopic conditions such as asthma and eczema, to help prevent a flame in those conditions,” Jain said.
You can manage the symptoms with an antihistamine in pill form, eye drops, or nasal spray, Jain told the Insider.
Antihistamines should help, not prevent
While there some small-scale research linking antihistamines to the reduced exercise benefits, Jain said there are also studies that contradict this statement.
“It is generally believed that antihistamines should not directly influence a person’s training performance and the benefits they should derive from exercise,” he said.
Jain recommends taking a non-sedating antihistamine if you intend to do any exercise or activity during the day.
“If you prefer a more localized approach to managing your allergic symptoms, you can use antihistamine drops like Zaditor or eye drop lubricants for eye symptoms, or use steroid nasal sprays like Flonase for nasal symptoms,” he said. said Jain.
For people allergic to pollen who like to exercise outside, reduce exposure by wearing a mask and showering immediately after your workout to get rid of any pollen that has landed on your skin and your clothes.
First-generation antihistamines can cause drowsiness
First-generation antihistamines such as Benadryl can cause drowsiness and fatigue and may make a person feel less energized in a workout, but second-generation antihistamines such as cetirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Claritin) are considered non-sleepy. .
“Second-generation antihistamines are a great option for managing symptoms of daily or intermittent seasonal allergies such as nasal congestion, dry nose, itching, watery or itchy eyes, which are all more likely to negatively affect training performance. of a person, ”Jain said.
Even antihistamines should not influence post-workout recovery, he added.
The best strategy is to reduce exposure
The most effective way to treat and treat allergies is to reduce exposure to known allergens, Jain said.
However, you can also minimize symptoms by using HEPA filters, hypoallergenic beds and pillows, and keeping the windows closed to reduce contact with outside pollen.
If you don’t know what you are allergic to, you can get tested.
“Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your specific needs, you may be a candidate for subcutaneous (allergy shots), sublingual (SLIT) or Precision Immune Targeting (ultrasound-driven intralymphatic immunotherapy),” Jain said.
By introducing a controlled amount of allergens into the body and gradually increasing exposure over time, your body can be trained to no longer see the substances as a threat.