During this time of year the sporting season has switched from winter sports programmes to summer activities. Rounders, tennis and cricket have replaced netball, hockey and football. Accompanying this rotation is the pollen, and this year levels have increased significantly.[i]
My personal favourite sport to take part in, in the May to August months, is rounders. However playing in the midst of a school field, with the grass and weed pollen peaking in these months, poses a lot of distress and discomfort for those with hay fever.
In order for you to have the best game you can, here is a list of things you can do to prevent your hay fever while taking part in sports this summer and play to your full potential;
- Avoid exercising when pollen is high
Obviously this is easier said than done when it comes to regulated matches and training schedules, however if you can avoid training early in the morning and at mid-day, pollen levels will be lower so you will suffer less because of it.
- Remember pollen sticks
Try to dry your sports gear indoors rather than outside on the washing line as damp clothes collect pollen.
- Shower before
If you shower before you exercise you can wash away any pollen that has collected on your body and in your hair, which will make gameplay easier as it stops pollen irritating you as you exercise.
- Eat well
Opt for lots of fruit and veg which are high in immune boosting vitamin C and act as natural antihistamines, such as; citrus fruits, strawberries and tomatoes. It’s a good idea to consume these before your exercise, if you fancy something a bit different, why not blend them into a smoothie?
If possible, while playing or waiting around for your coach and team, wear a pair of sunglasses to reduce the amount of pollen that can reach your eyes.
Bring a pot of HayMax with you to the pitch and apply it under your nose and on the bones of your eyes to help stop the allergen and trap them before they get in.
Now go out and enjoy your sports and pe without worrying about your itchy eyes and runny nose.
Written by Sofia Samm, Redborne Upper School, work experience
Hasan Arshad, Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the University of Southampton – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/many-people-suddenly-suffering-hay-fever-middle-age/