Ways to Exercise Outside with Allergies

Summertime is finally here, and whether it’s going for a run, playing a game of tennis or football, or a walk with friends, exercise can be a fun and healthy way to enjoy the brighter weather.

A study1 by Allergy UK in partnership with Kleenex has revealed that nearly half (49%) of the UK population now suffer from hay fever, almost double the number previously thought.

For people living with hay fever, exercising outdoors can bring its own set of challenges. The study also showed that 49% of people with hay fever spend less time exercising outside because of their symptoms, and 30% of people have gained weight as a result.

Ways to be comfortable outside with hay fever

Following these tips can help you to be more comfortable when exercising outside with hay fever symptoms:

  • Wear wraparound sunglasses and a hat to keep pollen and other airborne allergens away from your eyes.
  • Avoid going out in early mornings and at evening, when pollen levels are highest.
  • Change your clothing and shower when you return indoors to remove pollen from your body and hair.
  • Hay fever can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Always take your inhaler and medication with you on your run.
  • If you take medication for your hay fever symptoms, keep it next to your toothbrush. This will help you remember to take it.
  • Track pollen counts and avoid going outside when these are high. Learn more about this below.

Pollen tracking and forecasting

A great way to manage your symptoms and make decisions on outside activities and exercise is by monitoring the pollen count in your area.

The pollen calendar will let you know when the different kinds of pollen are around. The two main types of pollen which affect the majority of people with hay fever are tree pollens and grass pollen.

The types of trees most likely to release pollen that triggers hay fever are alder, birch, hazel and horse chestnut. The first tree pollens of the year typically release and cause hay fever symptoms in February, but sometimes as early as January.

Pollen counts are influenced by several factors including climate and this can mean the start of the pollen season varies from year to year.

For more information on living comfortably with allergies, visit the Allergy UK website - click here.

All content and advice is provided on behalf of Allergy UK in partnership with Kleenex®

1 Research details:

In March and April 2021, 7,242 respondents were contacted by Sapio Research. Results on the incidence of hay fever are taken from looking at the proportion of people that were screened out of the survey versus those who continued because they suffered with hay fever (3,541).

The full survey with sufferers was then conducted among 3202 Hay fever sufferers and 339 Parents with children who suffer from hay fever, from an initial 7,242 respondents. Interviews were conducted online by Sapio Research in April 2021 using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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