You’ve waited a long time for spring to get here, so don’t hide inside. There is a way to manage your seasonal allergies and enjoy the outdoors. As long as you know what allergens to avoid, you can navigate around these triggers, without completely ruining your spring season.
You’ve probably heard that avoiding allergens is the best way to take control of your symptoms. But that doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself away indoors. All you need to know is how to avoid your allergy triggers. For instance, in the early to late spring, tree pollen is the number one culprit for making your life a misery. Knowing how to avoid tree pollen will help to reduce its effect on your allergies. But how do you do it? Trees are everywhere outside.
There are a few steps you can follow to help you manage your allergies.
10 Pointers to Help You Enjoy Springtime Outdoors
Get into the ritual of performing a few necessary steps before you set foot outside, and you’ll notice a big difference in your allergy symptoms.
Check the Weather Forecast
Every morning, it’s good to get into the habit of checking the weather forecast. If it’s a dry, sunny, windy day, then you’ll know it’s going to be a bad day for allergies. Airborne tree pollen love these dry, windy conditions, and that means worse symptoms for you that day.
Outfit Yourself in Allergy Armour
Make sure to bundle up and wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses (even protective glasses), and keep your hair covered. It’s even a good idea to wear long sleeves. Airborne pollen is microscopic and can land anywhere. One of the ways it gets into your home is by hitching a ride in your hair and on your clothes. That explains the wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves!
Keep Pollen Under Wraps
When you return home, make sure you keep your ‘allergy armour’ contained so you don’t spread pollen throughout the rest of your home. Throw your clothes in the washer/dryer and keep your jackets, hats and shoes in a separate room like a mud room, or a plastic storage container.
Check the Pollen Forecast
While you’re checking the weather, don’t forget to check the pollen counts for that day. The pollen forecast tells you which allergens are threats and how bad they are each day. The Weather Network is a reliable source that receives their information from Aerobiology Research Laboratories, which has 30 pollen counting stations spread out over Canada.
Medicate Before You Go Outside
If you’re wondering when’s the best time to take your naturally sourced allergy relief, it’s right before you step outside. Don’t forget to pack some nasal spray and other back-up relief, just in case you need it. Another trick you can try is rubbing a bit of petroleum jelly around each nostril to keep allergens from getting too far up your nose!
Your Morning Commute to Work
It’s true that trees like to shed their pollen early in the morning, from sunrise to late morning. So avoiding allergies at this time of day is a challenge. Consider allergy proofing your car. You can get filters for the air vents, replace fabric mats with rubber ones, and cover fabric upholstery with seat covers. Consider something that is easy to clean like neoprene, PU leather, or microfibre. (Better still, get a car with leather seats!)
Make sure to drive with your windows closed. Keeping your car clean on a regular basis on the inside, and making sure vents are cleaned every week, will help make your commute to work more comfortable.
Plan Outdoor Activity for Later in the Day
If you’re a golfer or a jogger or you like to take the kids to the park on the weekends, make a plan to schedule outdoor activity for later in the day. The tree pollen party begins early in the morning, so it’s probably safer to wait until afternoon before venturing outside.
Moderate Exercise Only
Everybody loves to get outside once the weather warms up. Many of us take our workout outside and head for the park trails for an early morning jog or hike. A few pointers here to bear in mind, especially if you suffer from severe allergies. Try to avoid morning workouts outside and make sure you keep your aerobic activity to a moderate intensity. Save the high intensity workouts and cardio sessions for the gym.
According to the World Allergy Organization:
“Moderate and controlled exercise is beneficial for allergic subjects and should be part of their management.”
However, it’s important to bear in mind that intense exercise, which requires a greater intake of oxygen, will exacerbate allergy symptoms and can even induce an asthma attack in severe cases.
Singing in the Rain
Airborne pollen doesn’t stand much of a chance in the rain. It’s the best time to pull on your rain boots and go play outside! If you love going for a walk or jogging through the neighbourhood, time it right when there’s a light spring sprinkle outside, and you’ll be singin’ and dancin’ in the rain!
Stay Out of the Woods
No need to tempt fate and go looking for trouble. In early spring, it’s a good idea to avoid the woods. Stick to paths, roads and fields, until the summer when grass pollen takes over.
It’s no fun staying indoors when the weather’s so nice outside. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy springtime the same as everybody else. So, what are you waiting for? Get outside!
WebMD: Allergy Tips: Your Outdoor Exercise Checklist
Healthline: Enjoy the Outdoors with Allergies
World Allergy Organization: White Book on Allergy
Aerobiology Research Laboratories