Tips for Running Outside During Allergy Season

Running on grass trail.Spring is finally here, and I’m ready to enjoy the nice weather with a run or bike ride outside. There’s only one problem—or maybe millions of tiny ones—pollen! If you have pollen allergies like I do, I’m sure you know how quickly a workout can be ruined by allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, or even shortness of breath.

You can do more than enjoy the view from inside the gym though, so lace up your running shoes and get outside! These tips can help you keep pollen allergy symptoms at bay while exercising outdoors:

  1. Know your triggers. Most runners and cyclists take regular routes. If you notice  your symptoms flaring up at certain points on your route, there may be a large concentration of trees or other plants producing pollens that aggravate your allergies. Take notice of the plants and trees around you, and discuss them with your doctor. An allergy test can also be helpful at determining precise triggers.  You may even consider altering your route. Continue reading…

Don’t Let Pollen Ruin Your Spring Vacation

Road leads to SunsetWith the spring travel season in full swing, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has released its annual “2013 Spring Allergy Capitals” list. For the past 10 years, the AAFA has ranked the worst 100 continental U.S. cities for people with allergies. This year, Jackson, MS, takes top honors on the list. However, several popular vacation destinations made their way into the top 25, including Louisville, New Orleans, Virginia Beach, Chattanooga, Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Knoxville. Furthermore, a Discovery Fit & Health article points out that the Eastern, Southern, and Midwestern states are generally worse in the springtime for those with allergy sensitivities.

While these areas may be the worst offenders, no vacation destination can truly be allergy-free. Why? Well, just like many of us, pollen is pretty good at traveling. These tiny airborne particles can travel by wind, as well as by settling on the bodies of insects and other animals. Pollen can even be an unwelcome travel companion by settling on your clothes, in your hair, and even on your skin. Plus, regardless of your travel plans, there’s always the possibility of encountering mold and other allergens.

Fortunately, these simple tips can help you reduce pollen exposure and allergy symptoms so you can enjoy your vacation from beginning to end:

  1. Plan to vacation at a beach or on a cruise, if possible. These getaways tend to be easier on allergy sufferers.
  2. Monitor the pollen counts of your intended destination before and during your vacation. Continue reading…

November Air Quality Evangelists

Each month we feature Air Quality Evangelists who offer helpful information to people regarding the importance of air quality. These Evangelists make clean air (and a healthy environment) a priority in their lives. We appreciate the information they provide, so let’s hear from November’s winners who discuss everything from allergies to reducing toxins in your home.

Scientific American Blog Network – Observations

If you haven’t heard of the Scientific American, then you’re one of the few. It’s read in print by nearly 4 million people a year and has long been a leading source for science, technology, and policy information.

Last July it launched the Scientific American Blog Network, which has quickly become the go-to hub for various editorial, community, and opinion blogs. Their wide range of topics include Energy & Sustainability, Health, Evolution, and Technology. “Observations” posts feature opinions and analysis from Scientific American editors.

Winning Post

Warmer weather is increasing pollen counts across the country, and this winning “Observations” post analyzes research about climate change and its influence on seasonal allergies. Research suggests allergy issues increase significantly with climate change and will only get worse moving forward. Allergy season will start earlier and affect a larger segment of the population, so review the findings and what they mean for you. Continue reading…

sneeze-lady

Welcoming Pets Inside – Without Sacrificing Indoor Air Quality!


Reduce pet allergies in the home.The weather is cooling down, and for many of us, that means our pets will be spending much more time inside. Unfortunately, our beloved furry friends can bring in a lot of allergens – especially when it comes to their hair and dander.

Even those of us who don’t have these allergies should aim to diminish pet hair and dander in the home to keep the indoor air as pure as possible. Plus your pet-allergic friends will thank you!

Fortunately, we can enjoy our pets’ company without suffering from reduced indoor air quality.

Continue reading…

airplane

Don’t Let Allergies (or Airplane Air Quality) Ruin Your Holiday Travel Plans

This is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, and millions of Americans are flying to visit friends and family. In addition to Thanksgiving, a growing number of people are vacationing over the holiday weekend. Between the close quarters, air quality issues, and peanuts being tossed around, airplanes have long been a concern for people with all types of allergies.

The Issues

People believe air quality on planes is an issue because the air is recirculated and windows can’t be opened for ventilation. Stagnant air only gets worse when air circulators are turned off as passengers board or when planes sit for long periods of time. This reused, dry air can cause problems for passengers.

General illness can easily be spread on planes because of a lack of air circulation and confined space. Airplane toilets, soap dispensers, and tray tables can also harbor infectious germs.

Peanut and other food allergies are a concern since reactions can be as extreme as death (although it’s rare). Allergic reactions to food can be triggered by touch, so the close quarters make airplanes a worry for some travelers. Continue reading…