Exercise can help everyone stay healthy and feel their best. Exercise can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve sleep, promote a healthy weight, and help prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes. For some people, exercise is a migraine trigger. However, studies have shown that regular, moderate exercise has a strong role in preventing migraines.
Regular exercise does not necessarily mean going to the gym or playing sports. Nearly any physical activity that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe more deeply can provide significant benefits to people who get migraines.
What does it involve?
If you have health concerns, check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. If you have physical challenges, consider consulting with a physical therapist to develop a customized exercise plan. There are exercises and physical activities appropriate for any level of ability.
Follow these general guidelines for exercise, especially if exercise triggers a migraine for you. Eat at least an hour and a half before exercising to avoid low blood sugar. Consider keeping glucose tabs on hand in case your blood sugar drops during exercise. Always begin your exercise session with a gradual warm-up and take the time to cool down afterward. Warming up and cooling down will help prevent migraine triggering as well as sore or pulled muscles. Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise with plenty of cool liquids, choosing beverages without caffeine. Dehydration can promote migraine.
It is important to choose a type of physical activity you will enjoy and can regularly do. Jogging, swimming, brisk walking, and cycling are all good choices. Activities such as gardening or walking a pet can help you stay active and healthy. Incorporate social aspects by taking a dance class or going for walks with a friend. Be creative. Exercise should be somewhat challenging, but never a struggle.
It is important not to become discouraged early on when beginning a regimen of physical activity. At first, try to exercise for 10 minutes each day. As you become accustomed to the activity, exercise for longer periods every day. Focus on finding ways of staying active that are safe, enjoyable and easy to do regularly. If you experience migraines or new or worse side effects from medications, adjust your activity program to keep it safe and rewarding.
Regular exercise can result in fewer, shorter, less intense migraines.
The results of several clinical trials indicate that regular exercise helps prevent migraines.
Many people with migraines fear exercise will trigger an attack.
Migraine and medication side effects can make it difficult to feel motivated to start or continue a routine of physical activity.
If you exercise too hard, you may feel sore for a day or two afterward. Soreness is a sign that you should take it a little easier next time. If one type of exercise does not work for you, consider trying another.
Exercise – The Migraine Trust
Exercise – Migraine.com