As allergy season is around the corner – get those running shoes on and sweat it out. Allergy sufferers are 40 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Allergies can cause the blood vessels within the nose to swell, leaving you feeling stuffed up. When exercising, your body will pump more blood to your moving parts as they require it the most, thereby reducing the blood flow to your nose vessels and alleviating congestion. This effect typically occurs in minutes and can last up to several hours afterward. You can run, walk, jog or even incorporate some body-weight movements in a circuit fashion. If you have severe allergies, taking an antihistamine, decongestant or a nasal spray, before a workout can also help! When pollen count is at an all time high outside, continue with exercise in your home or the gym.
Exercise induced bronchoconstriction (asthma) occurs when airflow is obstructed during exercise. This does not mean that exercises causes asthma. 90 percent of people with asthma will experience symptoms of exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) during exercise. Exercise increases the demand of oxygen in the body, causing you to breath faster and deeper. Air is cooler and dryer when you inhale through the mouth and this dry/cold air can trigger airway narrowing. Symptoms of EIB include: coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These symptoms are often reported during exercise and can be particularly worse 5 to 10 minutes after stopping exercise, lasting for 20-30 minutes. Some people may experience a second wave of symptoms 4 to 12 hours after stopping exercise. A few tips to reduce EIB is to exercise in warmer and humid temperatures, and increase your antioxidants and omega 3 supplements / foods. If you need more relief, see your naturopathic or medical doctor for more information.