Staying fit despite allergies
Nature is blooming, yet the nose is itchy and runny, our eyes burn, and fatigue plagues us throughout the day – this is the fate of everyone suffering from allergies during spring. Hiding inside and avoiding exercise, however, is no solution. Discover how you can stay fit and avoid springtime lethargy.
The first early blossoming plants such as alder, hazel, sycamores, ash and birch trees bring many people discomfort in spring. They suffer from a plethora of symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, a dry nose, swelling and redness of the mucosa, tingling, burning and watery eyes, itchiness, coughing, asthma attacks and other unspecific symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and diarrhoea. Naturally, these symptoms can vary in intensity from person to person, but there are also differences between the sexes: More than a third of all women suffer from allergies, whereas only a quarter of all men are affected. Younger boys are more commonly and severely affected by allergies, while girls usually only develop symptoms later in life.
The pollen season is open!
Allergies are essentially diseases that affect the entire body, and the start of the pollen season can already be detected in the bloodwork of people who suffer from allergies: The numbers of red blood cells are reduced, whereas the white blood cells are increased. As a result, less oxygen is transported through the blood, which explains the drop in performance that many allergy sufferers experience during the pollen season. Many people just accept that they feel worse during this period. However, this is counterproductive in the long run: Ignoring the problem or just treating the symptoms with antiallergic drugs can even increase the severity of the allergy over time. Allergy sufferers need to be aware of and avoid airway inflammation. In other words, the allergy can spread from the upper airways down to the lungs. Ultimately, untreated allergic rhinitis can turn into bronchial asthma. Allergen immunotherapy causes long-term relief and can, for example, be administered either through quarterly injections or daily tablets. Probiotic treatment can also help by protecting the intestinal mucosa and therefore strengthen the intestinal immune system. If the intestinal mucosa is under attack, then allergens can pass through its barriers. However, an intact intestinal mucosa can protect us against intruders through slgA antibodies.
Tip: If your allergies get worse, consult a doctor as soon as possible!
Don’t forgo exercise because of allergies
If allergic symptoms are making your life miserable, then it’s usually because exercising outdoors in the pleasant spring weather seems impossible. However, you shouldn’t forego sports entirely. Exercise strengthens the respiratory muscles and our physical resilience, improves coordination, and promotes positive body tension and self-awareness. If you have your allergy under control, you can do almost any type of sport (as long as you pay attention to the current weather and pollen count). Nevertheless, you should avoid outdoor activities during high pollen loads or severe symptoms.
Tip: Visit your local pollen monitoring service website to find out which plants are currently blooming in your region. And by the way, the pollen count is lower after thundershowers.
Tackling spring fever
Fatigue and exhaustion don’t only affect allergy sufferers in spring. A lack of vitamin D is often the cause, which can slowly develop over the long and dark winter months. The good news is, you can easily solve this problem by taking vitamin D3 supplements. When combined with magnesium, our bodies can make the most of this sun vitamin. A natural way to up vitamin D production is by spending time out in the sun, ideally in combination with exercise to kickstart the cardiovascular system. Even fish (especially herring and salmon) contain loads of vitamin D3 and should always be a part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Tip: Overcome your inner couch potato! Exercise out in the open, drink plenty of water, swap between cold and warm showers, eat many small meals throughout the day instead of having a heavy lunch, and meet up with friends instead of taking an afternoon nap. All of these tips can help you avoid fatigue.