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Exercising with Allergies

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Allergies shouldn't be a barrier to living a fit and active life. In fact, many Australian Olympic athletes have allergies and asthma1. For many, the discomfort of symptoms such as a runny or blocked nose, watery eyes or breathing difficulties can make you want to avoid outdoor exercise altogether.

For those with allergies who want to get outdoors to exercise, here are some easy tips that will help keep you safe and comfortable.

Things to take with you when exercising outdoors with allergies:

  • A hat or sunglasses to keep pollen, and other allergens away from your eyes
  • Keep some Kleenex® Allergy ComfortTM tissues close at hand, for a runny nose or watery eyes
  • If you’re going on a long walk, take suitable allergy medication with you

Outdoor exercise tips:

  • Head to the beach or an ocean pool- saltwater is excellent for decongestion (consider vegetation around the area, and stay away from spinifex grass)
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • Time your exercise according to the pollen count (Check the pollen forecast in your Australian city)
  • Wear a mask (if possible) when participating in low-intensity outdoor exercise, to prevent dust or pollution from entering the mouth and nose
  • Wash and change your clothing upon returning home
  • Avoid areas like freshly mowed ovals or grassy shared spaces - which will likely have caused the movement of pollen
  • Avoid dry, hot, windy days which usually deliver higher pollen counts causing irritation

What if your allergy symptoms worsen when you exercise?

  • Exercise in a warm and humid place – avoid cold, dry air if possible
  • Avoid exercising where there are high levels of pollens, dusts, fumes, or pollution
  • Breathe through your nose when you exercise
  • Do a proper warm-up and cool-down
  • Know your limits and take breaks or stop if symptoms persist

All content and advice are provided on behalf of Sensitive Choice, an initiative of the National Asthma Council Australia, in partnership with Kleenex®. The advice provided in this material is general in nature and is not intended as medical advice. If you need medical advice, please consult your health care professional.

Kleenex® Allergy ComfortTM Tissues are free from lotion, dye & fragrance, and are dermatologically tested with reduced linting for hay fever and allergy sufferers. Grab a box today from Woolworths, Coles, Amazon or your local IGA Store


  1. https://www.nationalasthma.org.au/living-with-asthma/resources/patients-carers/factsheets/exercise-triggers-my-asthma
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