With less than 80 days until athletes start their journey in the London Olympics, it’s full-blown red, white and blue love here in the office. So when the opportunity to chat with three-time Olympian Misty May-Treanor arose, we simply couldn’t say no (and who would want to?). May-Treanor is working with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America on the Ditch the Drip campaign, educating allergy sufferers around the globe on how to get (and stay!) healthy when pollen season kicks into high gear. An allergy-sufferer herself, May-Treanor has learned to pay attention to her environment, both on and off the court, to make sure her performance is always top notch.
We caught up with the beach volleyball pro, who is teammates with Kerri Walsh, about how she fights those pesky allergies and what she’s most looking forward to about this year’s Olympic Games.
Suffering from allergies when your job is to play a sport outdoors must be challenging. How do you deal with it all?
It’s really important that I take preventative measures. As I was getting older, I finally realized that every time the pollen picks up I would start to get all of the usual symptoms—a lot of sneezing, runny eyes and nose, etc. I’m traveling to a lot of different environments for work, so now I make sure that I’m prepared beforehand.
What type of preventative measures do you take?
I’ll take medicine if necessary and that will clear it up. But beforehand, I look more at the climate. If it’s going to be a problem, then I make an appointment with the doctor to make sure I’m taking any steps possible to make sure I won’t be affected drastically.
How do you feel going into the Olympics? Do you feel like a high standard has been set, or do you feel more relaxed?
Kerri might tell you differently, but we’ve proven the type of players and team that we are, so I don’t feel like we have anything to prove. But at the same time, we set our own standards high because we want to be the best. We put so much pressure on ourselves to excel because we want to be the players that we know that we know we can be.
I’m about to tell you something, and you may not like me after I say it: I’ve never suffered from allergies. But from what I can tell, it does not look like a good time. Sneezing, wheezing and countless other symptoms leave me giving puppy eyes to my fellow commuters in the morning as they try to put their best face forward. But ABC’s Private Practice star Kate Walsh does have allergies, and completely understands what it feels like to be zonked out all day dealing with them. I got the chance to chat with Walsh as she teamed up with Zyrtec to get her tips to looking good inside and out in every season.
What exactly is “Allergy Face”?
Allergy Face is puffy, watery eyes, sneezing, a stuffed up nose, you name it. It’s basically all of those things that make you want to hide under the covers. Which is annoying, because springtime is the season to finally get outside and enjoy the great weather.
Have you ever woken up with Allergy Face before filming or making a public appearance where you needed to look your best?
I basically have Allergy Face every day once spring hits. In California allergies can be year-round. Between the Santa Ana winds, dry winters and then the spring season something is always blooming and blowing around. Before I was diagnosed with allergies I never wanted to admit that I had them. I just told myself I was a person who sneezed a lot!
Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern
FITNESS’ January cover model, Brooke Burke, can totally relate to those suffering from early allergies this year. But the co-host of Dancing With the Stars and mother of four who wears many hats (from TV host to spokesperson to author) knows that no matter how bad her allergies get, she has to find a way to keep moving.
We caught up with Brooke to talk about how she deals with the sniffles, her involvement with Claritin and the new short comedic film she starred in for the brand. And of course, we had to chat about the current season of DWTS and get her predictions before tonight’s episode!
You looked amazing in the January FITNESS and many of our readers said they related to your lifestyle as a busy working mom. How did you feel about being on the cover?
I loved it! I’m a fan of the magazine anyway and its always important for me to be able to grace a cover like FITNESS because it’s all about health and I like what it symbolizes. I love that it’s inspiring to other women and the shoot was a blast!
How did you get involved with Claritin and this project?
I’ve always had allergies and I’ve always used Claritin. I don’t know how they knew that, but they came to me and we partnered and decided to do this short. It was really a blast to not play myself. And I do really use Claritin. I mean, I can’t really just call in sick and stay home because I’m swollen and feeling crappy!
At FITNESS we love Dancing With the Stars. What are some of your predictions for this season?
I think the men this season are a little stronger then the females, actually, but you never know! I think Jaleel White really surprised everyone but they also said Katherine Jenkins looked borderline pro. But I really liked Donald Driver, the NFL superstar, but his scores weren’t as high as I thought they might be after seeing him perform!
If you could see anyone on the show next season, who would it be?
I’d love to see Suzanne Somers. She’d be great! Oscar De La Hoya would also be really amazing. I’ve always wanted to see him. It was rumored that Paula Deen was supposed to dance this season but I don’t know what happened with that. But I think Suzanne would be great!
Just because we’re dying to know…Is Maksim Chmerkovskiy as cute in person as he is on TV?
Oh gosh, last show, when he came out shirtless with his abs popping and all tan? Yeah, he’s really cute! And Maks’ brother Val is really cute too!
More from FITNESS:
- Look Like Brooke: Brooke Burke’s Workout
- 5 Seasonal Allergy Remedies
- Dancing With the Stars Pro Chelsie Hightower Dishes on the New Cast
Sneezing, itchy eyes, a stuffy nose…nothing puts a damper on our excitement to get outside quite like seasonal allergies.
So, first the bad news: 2011 was reportedly “the worst” allergy season ever—if you go by pollen counts—and 2012 is going to terrorize allergy sufferers once again. Because of the warmer winter, some trees started budding super-early (before Groundhog’s Day!). Great.
Now, the good news: You don’t have to spend the next few months in an OTC-drug haze, or wondering what to do if you only have mild allergies. There are several all-natural strategies for fighting allergies, like eating the right foods, acupuncture (which helps balance the immune system), and even oils like #15 – Decongest from 21 Drops. Most recently, the first-ever organic lozenges landed on our desk: AllergEase. They’re like cough drops—but for allergy sufferers.
“Many women today want to avoid medications and the associated side effects that can slow them down,” says Omar Javery, MD, who created the formula with his wife in mind. “Even mild allergies can be miserable when you’re on the go and trying to stay active. The last thing you need is to be groggy and in a daze.”
Amen, doctorman. With a formula featuring five herbs that either battle or suppress the allergic response—plus a dose of Vitamin C—AllergEase can be a complement to your favorite allergy medicines, or be consumed on its own. The high Vitamin C content and the high flavonoid levels provide anti-oxidants, which are essential in minimizing oxidative stress that can be damaging to the body, explains Dr. Javery.
Bonus: They’re actually really tasty—and you can taste-test them yourselves by requesting a free sample at aedrops.com.
For more strategies to manage your seasonal allergies:
- 13 Ways to Alleviate the Sniffling, Sneezing and Headaches
- 5 Seasonal Allergy Remedies
- Q&A: Can I really become addicted to my allergy nasal spray?
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Can imagining yourself eating treats actually stop you from overeating? One writer gives it a try. – NYTimes.com
- Should Ronald McDonald retire? A group of health professionals thinks so. — WSJ.com
- Aachoo! Yup, we’re having the worst allergy season ever. Here’s why and some tips for allergy sufferers. – Time Healthland
- Hilary Swank teams up with the American Cancer Society to get women to pay more attention to their health. -- USAToday.com
- It’s time for The Fitties! The Fit Bottomed Girls choose their fitness must-haves. – Fit Bottomed Girls
Spring is upon us—and with it, allergy season. If you check online for pollen count forecasts in your area, make sure you’re going to an accurate source. Some websites only use predicted pollen counts, Reuters reports.
Use the National Allergy Bureau’s Pollen & Mold Levels tool, which uses actual data from daily readings at counting stations nationwide, to enter your location and get a good sense of whether your day will be a sneeze-fest or not.
Another useful tool is the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s The Virtual Allergist—just click on your symptoms to find out what allergic conditions might be ailing you.
A note from FITNESS: We are proud to partner with SparkPeople to provide our readers with even more helpful content.
You’re sneezing. Your nose is running. Your eyes are watering. And you’re feeling run down. Is it a cold, allergies, or something else?
When you’ve got the sniffles, it’s important to be able to distinguish between the causes of your symptoms so that you know which treatment to seek, whether or not you’re contagious, whether you should see your healthcare provider, and how to prevent your symptoms from coming back.
Colds and allergies, quite obviously, have very different causes. Although the symptoms of both ailments occur when your body’s immune system reacts to a foreign body, in the case of colds this foreign body is a virus, while for allergies, the culprit is generally something benign, such as dust mite particles or pollen. When exposed to allergens, your body recognizes the foreign substance as harmful, so it creates an immune response as if you were sick. So how do you tell the difference?
More From Spark People: