Allergies Acting Up? Help is Here!

Photo credit: slgckgc on Flickr.

Spring flowers are finally blooming across Ontario, which is just one more sign that spring allergy season will soon be upon us. How do you stay healthy this spring, without allowing your itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and scratchy throat to interfere with your fitness routine? Well, one way is to work out indoors… at your WFCC club!

But as much as you’d like to, you can’t live in the club, and you have to go outside sometimes. Here are some tips to help your allergies stay manageable:

  • Pick up an air filter. This will help you keep the air in your home clean and allergen-free. If you already have an air filter, this is a good time to remove the filtration mechanism and either clean or replace it.
  • Try quercetin. Quercetin is a flavanoid that appears in several plants. Its synthesized form is available at your supplement or natural foods store, and it acts like an anti-histamine without the side-effects of either drowsiness or restlessness. So even if you have a brand of over-the-counter anti-histamine that you like, or you’re prescribed one by your doctor, this might be a good alternative for workouts.
  • Try a neti pot. Neti pots (or “nasal irrigators”) are devices you fill with water and squirt up your nose. If it sounds a little bit like waterboarding, that’s because it is. But it’s an effective means of flushing out the nasal passages and clearing them of mucus that doesn’t involve creating a pile of wet tissues, and prevents things like sneezing and sniffling. It can also stop an allergic reaction its tracks — if there’s no pollen in your nose, it’s pretty tough to react to it.
  • Eat a hypo-allergenic diet. Consuming more anti-oxidants will help reduce inflammation, which is one of the reactions to pollen and other allergens.
  • Change clothes as soon as you get home. The clothes you wear to work collect pollen, dust, and dander from the outside environment. As soon as you’re home from work or school, throw them in a hamper with a lid and don’t open them. Keep a steady supply of cleaner, hypo-allergenic clothes for home wear.