Exercise your right to be Migraine free
Exercise does more than improve your mood and keep the weight off. It can also reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches.
Exercise as relief
Exercise reduces stress and helps you sleep at night, which are two main migraine triggers. When you exercise, you release endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. Warming up, staying hydrated and eating properly before and after can help you cope and prevent migraines.
Exercise can help combat high stress levels and a lack of sleep, which are two main migraine triggers.
What types of exercises should you do?
Low-impact exercises offer the most benefits to those with migraines. These include:
It’s important that you enjoy your workout, so always choose something you enjoy doing and you’ll stick with it. Or grab a buddy. Not only will they help hold you accountable, they will make working out that much more fun.
How often should you exercise?
Regular exercise is always a good idea. Working out for 40 minutes 3 times a week is recommended. However, life gets busy and can get in the way of working out. Remember that taking care of yourself is not only good for your mental health, it is also good for your physical health.
Exercise as a trigger
While exercising typically has a positive impact on migraines, it can sometimes actually also be a trigger. These headaches can last from 5 minutes to 48 hours after you stop exercising. If you start to feel a migraine while working out, stop. Talk to your doctor and see what else you can do to prevent or recover from a migraine.
- Ahn, Andrew H. “Why Does Increased Exercise Decrease Migraine?” Current Pain and Headache Reports, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942090/.
- Downward, Emily. “Exercise for Migraine Relief.” Migraine.com, www.migraine.com/complimentary-and-alternative-therapies/exercise/.
Last review date: March 2019
- “Exercise.” The Migraine Trust, www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/coping-managing/exercise/.
- Rathier, Lucy. “Effects of Exercise on Headaches and Migraines | American Migraine Fdn.” American Migraine Foundation, American Migraine Foundation, 1 Nov. 2015, www.americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/effects-of-exercise-on-headaches-and-migraines/.
- Robbins, Lawrence. “Exercise Tips for Migraines and Headaches.” Practical Pain Management, 19 Nov. 2015, www.practicalpainmanagement.com/patient/conditions/headache/exercise-tips-migraines-headaches.
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