6 Tips on How to Exercise Safely During Allergy Season

Man in a blue NAROO F5 mask wearing a black shirt, black shorts, and black backpack

  You learned all about pollen allergies in our last blog. If you didn’t, you should check it out because pollen can stop you from doing what you love. As an athlete, whether amateur or professional, pollen season can be the wrench in your training. Allergies can prevent effective, efficient breathing and athletes are more prone to worsening allergies than the general population. We need good, dependable solutions. Doctors have done the research, but most of their solutions are geared towards the general allergy population, not sports people. Let’s take a look at the solutions, and how athletes in particular can use them to head outside safely during pollen season.

Solution #1: Take Medication

Note: Please take medicine under the advice and supervision of your doctor.

Allergy sufferers have long relied on doctor prescriptions and over-the-counter allergy solutions to find relief. Some do find it. However, many people with allergy often do not get complete relief by taking medications and need to pair medication with another method to be comfortable. These people may also be candidates for other types of therapies and allergy shots. But even then, these solutions take a while to work and therefore secondary solutions, such as wearing masks, are needed to combat symptoms.

Solution #2: Protect Your Surroundings

Experts recommend using air-conditioning when possible in your home and car, which can help while exercising indoors. You can also change your clothes as soon as you come indoors, which makes easily washable solutions like masks very important.

Solution #3: Protect Your Eyes

Aside from the respiratory issues that face allergic people, there are also the effects on the eyes. Solutions are usually avoidance of allergens by staying indoors, using eye drops to wash away allergens, or wearing protective measures like wrap-around sunglasses. It is the contact of pollen with the eyes that causes itchiness, redness, and excessive watering. Therefore, protecting your body from invasive pollen is important. We can cover our eyes as well as our airways to prevent pollen particles from causing allergic reactions. 

Solution #4: Wear a Pollen Mask

A diagram of different particles: 20-30 microns pollen (large spiky particle), 10 microns dust (lumpy black particle), 2.5 microns, fine dust (small black particle); below particles are the filaments of the mask

Masks are one of the most dependable solutions. They can be paired with various solutions for even better protection. Just as wrap-around glasses prevent pollen from touching the eyes, a good pollen mask will prevent pollen from entering the airways and irritating them. Masks are particularly effective because pollen particles are fairly large and masks can trap them, reducing uncomfortable symptoms. Also, exposure to allergens can also cause new allergies to flare, so blocking irritants can help prevent symptoms and the development of more allergies.

Surgical masks trap up to 80% of 2.5 micron particles, cotton handkerchief 28%, and Pitta masks 64%. Most pollen particles are larger than 9 microns, so any mask efficient at 2.5 microns will be effective as a pollen mask. For example, NAROO masks are tested and proven to filter particles as small as 1.7 microns, making them a reliable pollen mask. Wearing an effective pollen mask will free you from being trapped inside as they will filter and protect while you’re outside, and are washable when you head inside.

Solution #5: Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

According to Dr. Scadding of the United Kingdom, your diet can reduce the severity of your allergies. “…diet alters the bacteria living in your gut, and they in turn could alter the way your body reacts immunologically. A diet that is rich in short chain fatty acids promotes good bacteria [is one full of] plant-based foods – fruits, vegetables, and also yogurt and fish.” Eating well can bolster your immune system and help you fight those pesky allergies. Also, a well-balanced diet is as important a source of fuel as clean air for athletes.

Solution #6: Check Pollen Levels

Checking current pollen levels can help you decide whether or not it is safe for you to go out and exercise. If levels are high, then you can close windows and remain indoors as a method of prevention. Many choose indoor methods of exercise during these times to protect their respiratory system. Yet surprisingly, even when pollen count is low, you can still show symptoms of pollen allergy such as sneezing, runny nose, and coughing.

Why NAROO sports masks?

A man in a yellow shirt is running a forest trail while wearing a black NAROO F5s mask

NAROO was developed for athletes. For many of us, heading outdoors is integral to the performance of our sport and adds to the overall experience of running, or cycling, or even heading down a mountain on your snowboard. The use of a pollen mask designed for sports people means that it will filter pollen well so we don’t inhale pollen particles. Perhaps even more importantly, NAROO masks are breathable. When we exercise, our rate of breathing increases and we need more air to power our movements. Therefore athletes need a breathable, filtering mask. NAROO masks require no filter change. You just wash to regain it’s tested filtering capabilities and reuse. NAROO is a dependable solution that can be used on its own, or in conjunction with other solutions.

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