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How Allergy and Asthma triggers can ruin workout routines

One of America’s favorite traditions for the end of the year is making New Year’s resolutions that have make some reference to eating healthy and losing weight in the new year. Surprisingly, some of those that start to exercise find that they begin to feel worse instead of feeling better after implementing a healthier regime.

Why does this happen?

Not only can new workout routines be difficult for those with asthma, but several allergens can be found lurking in health clubs making this healthy activity bothersome for the more than 40 million Americans that suffer from allergies”, said allergist Richard Weber, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “By understanding what triggers symptoms, those with allergies and asthma will be able to feel good and remain active”.

In order to be more successful in achieving your New Year’s Resolutions, there are 5 common allergy and asthma triggers that ACAAI has identified, as well as tips on how to avoid them.

Pushing yourself beyond your boundaries.  Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is a condition that affects 10% of Americans, and is characterized by experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and unusual fatigue. People that suffer his condition, should make sure that they use their prescribed inhaler before starting their exercise routine. Another helpful tip is to breathe through your nose rather than through your mouth while working out.

Inform yourself about what you’re eating – Some may try new dieting meal options, so it is important to read the nutrition labels to verify that these new foods do not contain any hidden food allergens such as milk, wheat, nuts, soy and eggs, which could trigger allergies.

Be choosy about what exercise equipment you use – Even though most exercise equipment will not trigger allergy exacerbations, there are some rubber coated weights, mats and medicine balls that might. Equipment that contains latex can cause rash or hives for those with allergies to this material. Additionally, some cleaning agents used to disinfect gym equipment may also may contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can consequently promote and asthma attack or cause skin irritation.

Work out indoors – People allergic o pollen, grass and other environmental factor should strive to work out indoors. However, if this is something you dread then we suggest that you take your allergy medications and avoid doing exercise during the peak hours of pollen counts (usually mid-day and afternoon). It is also recommended to change and shower soon after your workout in order to eliminate particles that may have clung onto your hair or clothes.

Stay comfortable– It may well be that your exercise garments are causing you to itch after your workout. For this reason, you should try to avoid synthetic materials and opt to natural products or materials such as Lycra (spandex), that can help avoid skin irritation.

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of allergies and asthma, schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified allergist at IMMUNOe Allergy & Asthma Clinics in the greater Denver area. Visit for more information.