A few quick lessons, a lot of sneezing

Yesterday I was so busy that I didn't have time to get my workout until after URBAN Boot Camp ended at 7pm. But, of course, "busy" is not an excuse to miss a workout, so I stopped at the track on my way home for some endurance running and bleachers.

Lesson #1: On busy days look for opportunities to mix in a workout or activity, even if it means taking walking breaks, stretching at your desk or doing knee bends during phone conferences.

Unfortunately, only a quarter into my workout my allergies kicked in. As breathing and seeing (watery eyes) worsened, I was forced to modify my program and decrease the intensity.

Lesson #2: Don't be afraid to modify or stop your workout, as necessary, if you begin to feel bad during a workout.

After about 40 minutes, the cost began to outweigh the benefits so I had to bring it in. Once home, things quickly kicked into overdrive culminating in non-stop sneezing, itching, and one of my eyes becoming extremely swollen.

Lesson #3: DO NOT rub your eyes when having an allergy attack, even if they itch like crazy, even if they water like a faucet. Dab gently with tissue or a handkerchief.

So today, now that I am mostly recovered, here are a few tips to consider if you find your allergies kicking into overdrive:

1. Invest in a Neti Pot. Nasal irrigation can help to clear the nostrils of pollen and other allergens while removing excess mucus. Be sure to use a saline solution.

2. Stay hydrated. Sneezing and blowing your nose can leave you quite parched. Drink warm tea with a bit of lemon and honey to soothe your throat. Bonus: the steam can help to open nasal passages.

3. Soothe your eyes and nose with a cold compress. Brew up some lavender or chamomile tea, cool the liquid before using the brew on a clean cloth or cotton ball. Chilled cucumber slices also feel heavenly on inflamed eyelids.

4. Keep your hands down. While washing your face can help to rid yourself of irritants, don't touch your face with your hands otherwise. Do be sure to wash your hands before administering treatments.

5. Avoid dairy. While research is conflicting on whether mucus production truly increases with dairy consumption, I personally notice a marked increase when I indulge. AND, ditching the cheese, milk, and ice cream can also be a plus for your figure.

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