April 08, 2008

What if you're allergic to exercise?

[By Merry]
Summer’s too hot; you’d end with heat stroke.
Autumn? Those leaves? You’d slip, trip and croak.
Winter just sucks; you can’t work out then.
And in spring everything is an allergen.

[Photo courtesy of Taliesin at The Morgue File]

I loved the 5 good reasons to quit the gym post, but right now the gym sounds like a good idea. Or else I should stay home and exercise while watching old movies. (Maybe I should write a book: Fitness for movie buffs.)

I mean, if it weren’t hard enough going outside to work out when you’ve got to deal with the Birds, or the occasional case of Vertigo, now I’ve come up with another reason to stay inside. At least until spring has completely sprung. I don’t know what exactly it is, but there’s some flower/blossom/damnedweed that starts shedding pollen at this time of year in this corner of the woods (roughly North by Northwest), and it gets me every year.

In the gym, I would have to face the perils of sweaty mats, unwashed bicycles or treadmills, and shower areas that remind me of the Bates Motel. (Athlete’s Foot isn't quite creepy as Norman Bates, but they're both nasty.) But at least in the gym, unlike poor Janet Leigh, I would know what to expect (and thus hopefully prepare for).

In the great outdoors, it’s different. There are websites that show different potential allergens in the area and the different times they appear. The trouble is that there is more than one culprit, so all I have is a lot of Suspicion.

Some ways to tackle this issue:
  • Strengthen the immune system, so it’s less likely to go Psycho on me. Only trouble is, the natural approach takes time.
  • Try homeopathic treatments. I don’t have any opinion (either for or against) the effectiveness of homeopathy. I just like the idea of using a minute quantity of an unhealthy substance to cure the body. The “it takes a thief to catch a thief” approach has a sneaky appeal to it. But again, if I don’t know what’s causing the allergic reaction, homeopathy doesn’t sound like it would help.
  • Take drugs, trying to suppress the symptoms. Allergies are a self-induced Sabotage on the body. Taking drugs would be a way to combat the problem -- if I could find an allergy medicine that both a)worked and b)didn’t knock me out.

I suppose I could just stay at home and look out the Rear Window. That should be safe -- at least, so long as I behaved myself. Have you ever seen a movie where something bad happened to a person on an exercise bike?

Plus, it would be one way to make sure I don’t end up looking like Alfred Hitchcock.


  1. I'd say use Claratin for allergies...I find I actually run too fast when I take it during allergy season...makes me edgy and full of energy. Everything else puts me to sleep.
    Not what I imagine the makers of the stuff were looking for but for an allergic asthmatic it makes for a good workout...

  2. Claratin? I love the idea of something that will keep me awake and full of energy! Thanks Geosomin!

  3. Does anyone else suffer from an allergy to spring?

  4. Ah, c'mon--was there no way to fit Dial M for Murder in there????

    I'm allergic to staying inside my office during spring. I don't think they've developed a pill for that, though.

  5. The Bag Lady doesn't appear to have any allergies to spring, but just may have one to exercise...

  6. Yes, my allergies are crazy right now. I pretty much just grin and bear it. I used to take a scrip, but insurance stopped covering it, so I stopped taking anything at all.

  7. Only solution is to live in a plastic bubble. Did Hitchcock make "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble"? Travolta was great in it. Much better than Pulp Fiction.

  8. I have year round allergies and take Reactine, similar to Claratin and it doesn't make me drowsy. Try one, if it doesn't work, try the other.

  9. Gena, if Zyrtec is what your insurance stopped covering (mine did, but my doctor wrote them a nasty letter) it's OTC as of last month. It's the only antihistamine available now that does anything at all for me. Of course, none of them have ever made me drowsy. Wouldn't that be nice? I could get more than four or five hours of sleep?

    I've been on weekly shots since 1959, and I still react to spring. And fall. And winter.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  10. Ah, good old allergies. Meds make me loopy and keep me from sleeping, even hours later, so I hear ya! I'm glad my allergies aren't too bad out in WA - they were wretched in NC. I think I'm more allergic to the gloom of winter.

  11. For some reason, I feel one of my obligations in life is to keep people from being ripped off by homeopathic medicine, so here's my little soapbox for all of you....

    Homeopathic medicine is a complete scam. The idea is that you take the harmful substance and dilute it a lot so that you can develop immunity to it. Nice idea, but if you look at the dilution ratio on most homeopathic remedies, there is generally a 10:1 dilution that has been carried out sometimes twenty or thirty times. If you do a 10:1 dilution thirty times, the chance that you have even ONE MOLECULE of active compound in a given sample is pretty much zilch. So without any active ingredient, what are most of these remedies? Essentially salt water. Whenever I have questioned so-called homeopathic "chemists" about this, they generally admit that there is little chance of there being any active compound in the remedy but claim that the water somehow "remembers" the compound being in there and that the remedy still works. Clearly, this is bullshit.

  12. Ashley, thank you for your info. Homeopathic treatments "sound" right, but perhaps it is just that we feel they should work and the placebo effect does the rest?

    Brianna, I'm glad WA is not so bad for allergies. The Willamette valley in Oregon is supposed to be one of the worst places in the country :(

    MaryAnne in K -- so you're all right in summer? You're batting 1 out of 4, but at least you enjoy the summers :)

    Reb, if Claratin doesn't do it, I'll certainly try Reactin!

    Nitmos -- now I have this vision of Travolta, with a greasy lock of hair hanging over his forehead, in a bubble, saying to Samuel Jackson something about how to pronounce "A Quarter Pounder" in French. Not a pretty picture, I must say.

    Gena -- so, now you just bear it without grinning? That sucks! Here, try some of this Claratin stuff.

    Bag Lady, you remind me of Glen Ford. He used to say "I've only got two speeds, and the other one's slower." :)

    G.G. -- /please/ find a way to fit 'Dial M for Murder' into the list! It really does belong there.

  13. I never had any allergies until recently.

    (waves excitedly to old age)

    now? Im always sniffling.


  14. Sorry, I seem to have an allergy to moving boxes and haven't been able to get the computer.

    I have constant but mild allergies--never seems bad enough to take anything for, but they never go away either. I can never go anywhere without Kleenex and when I forget, yikes. (I'd even resort to begging some off Strangers on a Train).

    But then my allergies aren't ever bad enough to keep me from working out--dang, that's one less excuse I get to use.


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