If you have allergies, you might feel like outdoor exercise detracts from your health more than it adds. Exercise is supposed to make you feel good. But if a quick jog or a bike ride leaves you wheezing, sneezing, and feeling miserable for hours afterwards, how healthy can it be?
But all of us -- allergic or not -- need to exercise regularly for our overall health. And the good news is that you can, even if you're exposed to outdoor allergens.
"People with allergies and asthma should be able to...
Bronchodilator medication: Drugs that relax tight muscles around lung airways. This makes it easier to breathe.
Bronchitis: An inflammation of the airways. Symptoms include a persistent cough and phlegm. It usually affects smokers and crops up in locations with high air pollution. It can also be caused by an infection, both viral or bacterial.
Corticosteroids: A steroid that contains anti-inflammatory drugs that treat the itching and swelling tied to some allergic reactions.
Decongestants: Medications that shrink swollen nasal membranes, which eases congestion and mucus, and makes it easier to breathe.
Elimination diet: A plan that has you stop eating foods that might be causing your allergic reactions.
Epinephrine: A medication that treats severe allergic reactions immediately. Also known as adrenaline, this relaxes tightened muscles around the airways, which makes it easier to breathe.
HEPA: High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA). This type of filter removes tiny airborne particles by pushing them through screens with microscopic pores.
Hypoallergenic: Products that have as few allergens as possible.
Immunotherapy: Your doctor may call these “allergy shots.” They slowly expose you to an allergen (usually by injection, but drops may also be placed under the tongue). They’re meant to raise your tolerance to allergy-causers like pollen, dander, insect stings, or some foods. The FDA has also approved under-the-tongue immunotherapy tablets that treat hay fever.