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How to prevent hay fever this summer whilst you run

Photo: William Brawley via Flickr

Photo: William Brawley via Flickr

Hay fever can be awful, constant sneezing, itchy leaking eyes, blocked nose, sore throat and much more.

Given the extent of allergic reactions, as the weather finally begins to improve (just) hay fever can become a significant hurdle facing summer athletes as it sometimes can affect performance.

Here are the top tips to try and prevent hay fever whilst you are running:

1. Keep an eye out on the pollen count and plan your activity

Hay fever can affect athletes because the more they breathe in, the more pollen they inhale, leading to the symptoms outlined above.

Keep an eye on the pollen count that is normally given during the National or local weather reports. Try not to have a training session or a run on a day when the pollen count is high. Hay fever also affects a person’s immune system, especially during summer when it has to work overtime, try not to run on days when you feel fatigued by your hay fever.

2. Choose when you run carefully

Choose a route that will minimize pollen. Runners should keep to low cut grass and tracks so allergens do not build up. Running in build up urban areas with a lack of vegetation is also an option, but make sure then that you are prepared to deal with the issue of pollution. As a consequence, you should probably choose to do your longer runs on days where the pollen count is low.

3. Relieve itchy eyes

Make sure you when sunglasses or wrap around glasses when running and if necessary use eye drops.

4. Vaseline

You sometimes see footballers have drops of Vaseline on the top of their shirt. A good idea to prevent hay fever is to put a blob of Vaseline on the top of your running top and a tiny bit on the inside of your nostrils in order to prevent pollen getting into your system.

5. Medications

Try and always take hay fever tablets like antihistamines in order to reduce your exposure to allergens. Even one tablet before a run will help significantly.

6. Shower

This should be done after every run anyway, but especially in summer. Pollen is sticky and will stick to your clothes and hair once you come in from a run. Washing off the pollen will prevent any allergic symptoms now you are inside the house.


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