Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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5 Ways to Stay Active During Allergy Season
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Summer is a great time for outdoor workouts, but the allergies that come with the season can bring down the motivation to be active.

Unlike the spring pollen that causes red eyes and runny noses, summertime means that plants are no longer thriving and instead ferment ample mold growth, especially in more humid climates. Your body is more likely to react to the particles in the air, rather than contracting a virus like it does in the cooler seasons.

Don’t let allergies be an excuse to be inactive! Here are some ways to combat the effects of the season:

1. Be Proactive

Remember to change your air conditioning filters at least twice monthly. AC units can become hotbeds for mold growth. Use of a dehumidifier will help maintain humidity levels that can aid growth.

2. Know Your Body

You may have a food allergy you don’t know about. Allergies aren’t just for the young, and the best way to protect yourself from sickness is to know what is harmful to you. Request an allergy test from your physician to begin identifying culprits, which could include seafood, nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, or soy, among others.

3. Dine Out with Care

For many, summer means more outdoor cookouts and meals at restaurants. Seafood is more plentiful in summer, but exercise precaution when selecting exotic fares. Make sure you ask your waiter/waitress about any ingredients that might concern you.

4. Fuel Up

Eat more juicy fruits and veggies! Always have them on hand and visible to increase intake. Vitamin C contains antihistamines and can be found in a numbers of foods, including broccoli, oranges and strawberries.

5. Improve Variety

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Whether it is trying new locally grown vegetables or adding new herbs and spices to your cooking when you increase the variety in your diet it is always a good thing. Some studies suggest that the leaves of a coriander (cilantro) plant might increase the excretion of lead, mercury and aluminum from the body.

If possible, limit your outdoor activities during times that your allergies tend to flare up. Swimming, weight training and yoga are healthy indoor activities that will still give you a good workout without causing allergies to flare up. You should also discuss with your physician or an allergy specialist.

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