Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Exercise to Ease Migraines

Regular exercise is supposed to be good for just about everybody, but are migraine sufferers the exception? The relationship between exercise and migraines is confusing. Science says that exercise, by promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, should help to ease the frequency and severity of migraines. However, many migraine sufferers claim that their attacks are triggered by physical exercise. So, who is right?

As with many other aspects of migraines, the answer is contradictory because both groups are right. Strenuous exercise can trigger migraines in people who are prone to them. On the hand, regular exercise can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches along with improving overall health and wellness.

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Regular exercise lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood presssure and high cholesterol. It also helps to improve relieve stress and improve sleep. All of these factors can subtly affect the likelihood of migraines.

Migraine sufferers who gave up exercise because it was a headache trigger should try again. Some common exercise migraine triggers are:
  • Not eating properly before exercise, thus causing a dramatic drop in blood sugar to occur
  • Not drinking enough fluids and becoming dehydrated while exercising
  • Starting a new eating plan and a new exercise program at the same time
  • Attempting strenuous exercise without a proper warm-up
To pinpoint exertion-related migraine triggers, migraine sufferers should keep an exercise diary, which should include specific information, such as:
  • Time of day when exercising
  • Food intake prior to workout
  • Fluid intake
  • Medication details
  • Whether a headache occurred during or after exercising
The best type of exercise for migraine sufferers is moderate aerobic exercise, for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Aerobic exercises include:
  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Power Walking
  • Swimming
Any new exercise program needs at least six weeks to discover if it has a beneficial effect on migraine headaches. This video provides some scientific reassurance that you should stick to your exercise program if at all possible:

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