Top tips for running with hay fever

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The forecast is for lovely, warm days over the next week so that should be great for fine weather running but hay fever sufferers beware as the forecast is also likely to include high levels of pollen at this time of the year.

Here are some top tips for running with hay fever:

  • Don't delay getting into the shower after the run. Pollen will be sticking to clothes, sweaty skin and hair. Get rid of it as soon as possible by showering hair and body and putting clothes in the wash. If you suffer, as many do with an allergic reaction to the skin, this is even more essential!
  • Apparently, pollen counts are normally highest between 05:00 and 10:00 am. They then drop as the air temperature rises but can go up again in the evening as the temperature drops. It may be worth dropping the morning runs for the next month and heading out at lunchtime instead. You may need to rethink evening sessions too.
  • Eat locally produced honey and drink nettle tea. Apparently this will build up immunity to pollen. Take a teaspoon of honey a day to build up a natural defence to the local pollen that you will be running through.
  • Try a low histamine diet. Apparently some foods are naturally high in histamine so cutting them out prevents overload on the body. Also drink plenty of water as the body produces histamine in order to stop water loss.
  • Kiwi’s and Australian’s recommend garlic and horseradish tablets although they may not be so easy to find in the UK. Perhaps just eat plenty of garlic and horseradish?
  • Avoid running on windy days as the wind whips up the pollen. Do some cross training such as swimming on these days instead.
  • Run after the rain. The rain will dampen the pollen down so this is a great time to run.
  • When running make sure you wear wrap around sunglasses to keep pollen out of the eyes, put vaseline up your nose to keep pollen from getting up there and take lots of tissues in case all of that fails!

While at home or in an office try to

  •         Keep windows and doors shut as much as possible.
  •         Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  •         Choose naturally hypoallergenic cushions and bedding