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Fit For Life: Ah-choo! What Can I do?

Sunday, April 09, 2017


Summer is just around the corner and we are all chomping at the bit to get outside. Fresh air, warmer temperatures, sunlight, vitamin D, elevated moods – all wonderful. And then we have - pollen and allergies. Not so wonderful. I have heard it many times this week, and it seems like an unavoidable problem to some people. But before you reach for the costly OTC meds, try these simple methods to lessen symptoms.  One thing I know – if you’re not feeling good, you can’t work out properly – so let’s clear up that head and nose, and do some preventive care while we’re at it. 

Eliminate dairy. Due to the mass production and poor quality of animals from which most of our common dairy products come from, and heat pasteurization and homogenization, commercial dairy products fall under the category of processed foods. Because all bacteria (good and bad) is destroyed during the "process", it lacks enzymes needed to help our bodies break it down and properly digest it causing a person to become lactose intolerant. It also causes a histamine or inflammatory effect to the respiratory system. Notice when a kid eats ice cream, their noses start running. That's respiratory inflammation, and not good for sensitive people with allergies. 

Wheat products are also better off being avoided, due to inflammation caused in the intentional tract. They cause the villi in the intestines to lay flat, not absorbing any nutrients, thus leaving foods intact and undigested, causing a condition called leaky gut syndrome. This also comprises your immune system, making it more difficult to combat allergies and fight off foreign invaders. 

Netti-Pot? The infamous “netti pot” will help relieve symptoms by flushing the mucus in your nasal cavity. It comes with a saline solution, and you need to use distilled or previously boiled water, at room temperature. You flush one side at a time following the instructions on the box. Feels weird but works great. 

Local honey also helps clear some symptoms associated with allergies. Little known:  the honey should be purchased within a 3-mile radius of where you live, because the bees need to extract and make honey from the same flowers and plants that are irritating you for the anecdote to work. Your best bet is a local store or farmers market. 

Select supplements. There is a compound found in wasabi known as 6-MSITC, which suppresses chemicals that cause nose-closing inflammation, so pile it on and let the drainage begin. Another compound that can subside symptoms is spirulina. Take about 2000 mg a day and inflammation and symptoms should ease. If these remedies don't help you out, you may have to avoid outdoor activity or wear a mask during the worst part of the season.  But go ahead and do it because the outdoors are good for you.


Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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