Expert Advice

The great outdoors?

The Great Outdoors | Augusta Health Matters

The Great Outdoors | Expert Advice: Answers to Common Medical Questions

While allergic asthma may make exercising outdoors more difficult, there are steps you can take to reduce the effects that pollen and seasonal change have on your ability to get a good workout outside. As a first step, try to learn what you are allergic to and when it blooms. This way you can be prepared when allergy season hits, and you won’t be surprised on a run when your asthma kicks in.

In addition to helping you be prepared for allergy season, knowing what you’re allergic to can also help you avoid that specific allergen. Some allergens, such as cat dander or dust mites, are easier to avoid than others. Pollen, for example, is particularly difficult to completely avoid, but you can reduce your exposure to it. Search the internet for a local pollen count or forecast, which can help you determine whether it’s a good time for a workout. Some doctors recommend exercising in the early evening or early morning because pollen counts tend to be lower at those times. However, some studies have shown that is not always the case.

Before starting your workout, make sure you warm up properly. Not only is this a good idea in general so you don’t strain muscles or hurt yourself, but it also helps your breathing and circulation. It is also recommended that people with asthma who use inhalers use them before workouts, even if they aren’t experiencing symptoms.

When you’re done with your workout, take a shower and put on a new change of clothes. Pollen can get stuck on your clothing and your skin, which can prolong asthma issues if you keep the same clothing on or don’t wash yourself.