Exercise Tips for Migraine and Headaches
Posted: Nov 16, 2019
We all know that regular exercising paves the way for a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. A good workout releases feel-good hormones like endorphins and encephalin in our bodies. These hormones are natural painkillers and antidepressants that help us cruise through life.
For people affected by migraine, exercising consistently helps with reduction of migraine-induced headaches. Even though for some people heavy exercising can trigger an attack, this should not be the reason for shying away from it all together.
Recent studies have shown that moderate exercise does help with migraine relief. The correct routine can reduce the overall number of migraine attacks as well as their frequency.
If you are one of those people who have identified exercise as a trigger, you should have an idea of why or how that could have happened.
- Exercising with no prior planning can lead to a sudden demand of oxygen for your body.
- Falling blood sugar levels as a result of poor eating habits.
- Dehydration from lack of fluid intake before and during workout.
- Mismanaged diet control with an aggressive exercise routine.
- Infrequent or inconsistent exercise resulting in aching muscles that can provoke an attack as a trigger.
- Sports injury to the head, like a fall or a sudden blow,
- Strenuous exercising at a higher altitude or in typically hot weather can often lead to what is known as exercise headache or exertion headache.
Want to add exercising into your daily routine? Here are a few tips to go about it properly.
Studies have shown that for people with migraine issues, 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercising is a good plan to start with. Add to that, at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening workout per week along with a good amount of yoga and meditation thrown in.
Always remember, rather than putting your habits into a tight box, learn to adapt rules that your body will accept. If you feel 150 minutes is a lot, do not put pressure on yourself. Start with what your body feels comfortable with. There are no hard and fast rules.
Medical consultation before planning an exercise routine is recommended. You can always bank on a holistic approach towards wellness, such as provided by popular practices like Osteopathy and physiotherapy. Here osteopaths in Melbourne help prevent migraine by offering hand on treatment and by stressing on posture improvement, exercise, diet and hydration.
Start with choosing an activity you enjoy. It could be brisk walking, jogging, swimming or cycling. An activity that you personally enjoy will ensure that you stick to your routine. Low-impact exercising that does not put too much pressure on the body is a great way to start off with.
With the passage of time, when you start getting comfortable with your routine, start upgrading it gradually to build your stamina. Strengthen your muscles, joints, bones and ligaments with higher-intensity exercises like jumping jacks and running stairs. Limit these heavy exercises to one day a week initially. As you start getting comfortable, increase it to two-three days.
Rely on snacks that are high on protein. Health bars and nuts are a good source of energy to keep a check on decreasing blood sugar levels. It is important to eat right before starting to exercise. Generally, doctors and nutritionists recommend eating 90 minutes before workout. If you eat too close to your exercise routine, you might end up getting unwanted stomach cramps.
Since dehydration is one of the key factors for provoking a migraine headache, make sure you drink lots of water and other fluids before and during your workout.
Warm up sufficiently before starting exercise. A 5-minute walk and gentle stretches help lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Getting right into an aggressive workout without warming up can trigger an attack.
Exercise inside a cool, temperature-controlled environment. Overheating of the body is one major cause of migraine during exercising. If you want to go for your run during the summers, make sure you do it early in the morning or late in the evening when the humidity is much lesser.
Lastly, make sure you take help from health experts, trainers, exercise specialists or osteopaths regarding the correct posture. Unwanted stress on the head, neck or shoulders during exercise can also trigger a migraine attack