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Enjoying the great outdoors - despite your allergies

Those dreaded spring allergies are here again. And they are quite a nuisance for those with hay fever and asthma who want to be active and enjoy the great outdoors. Unfortunately that sneezing, the itchy eyes, wheezing and coughing may prevent folks from enjoying those outdoor sports or that morning or lunchtime walk. There are a few precautions one can take to make outdoor activities a little more enjoyable during the allergy season. If you have asthma, remember to use your inhaler about 15 minutes before you exercise, and take the extra time to warm up slowly, and don't overdo it. Watch the signs of the season and try not to exercise outside when the pollen is at its highest - as a rule the early to mid-morning hours are worse. Try exercising in the evening hours or after a rain, which washes pollen out of the air. Consult a doctor and take allergy medication each day as recommended. Remember to do so a few hours before going outside. Try wearing the wrap-around type of sunglasses to decrease the amount of pollen that gets into your eyes. If the season is particularly bothersome you may want to consider wearing a mask or bandanna to decrease the amount of pollen that gets into your nose and lungs. You may want to carry a clean towel with you to wipe any sweat or pollen away from your face during outdoor exercise or activity. You should shower immediately afterwards and put your exercise clothes in the wash because they are likely to be covered with pollen.

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