Migraines and exercise have a complex association. Exercise can trigger migraines, but consistent exercise can act as a natural treatment for migraines by minimizing the intensity and its frequency of occurrence. However, it is essential to exercise safely to treat or deal with it.
It is recommended by doctors that one should not exercise when one is suffering a migraine attack as it may worsen the condition. Stress is the primary trigger of migraine. When being free of pain, exercising can help in curbing migraine attacks, thus acting as a natural treatment for migraines.
Exercise actually releases enkephalins and endorphins. These are natural, feel-good hormones, natural antidepressants, and natural pain killers. This article mentions some exercise tips that act as a natural treatment for migraines:
1. Choose an activity you enjoy
Be it brisk walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, or anything that you associate with or like, stick to it consistently and as an everyday activity. Begin with low level impact exercise that do not overexert your body a lot.
2. Build up your stamina slowly and gradually
Once you feel comfortable and at ease with your everyday routine, gradually increase the intensity of the exercise. Certain exercises such as hopping, jumping jacks, box jumps, and running stairs can build the muscles, joints, bones as well as ligaments. If you are a beginner, then restrict your high-level impact exercise to a day per week. Increase the frequency only when you are comfortable enough slowly and steadily. Make it 2 days when ready. The objective is to move more and sit less.
Fitness goals can include the following:
Aerobic exercise of moderate intensity
Strength training for 2 or more days
Add stair climbing, jogging a little, and some other light exercises
3. Smarter snacking to manage migraine headache
Since blood glucose diminishes while exercising, an energy source is needed when exercising. Protein bars, nuts, and other protein foods are good snacks before exercising. But it is best to snack 90 minutes prior to exercising, as eating too close to a workout can result in cramps. It is essential to snack as long hours of not having anything can trigger a migraine attack.
4. Remain hydrated before, during, and after workout
A migraine attack can occur when exercising, if a person is not sufficiently hydrated. About 64-80 ounces liquids have to be replaced within the body, which one loses within a day. It can be more if the climate you live in is a lot hotter. It’s observed that people who have consumed sufficient water have lesser chances of a migraine attack while exercising.
5. Warming up before exercising
It is important to warm up before exercising; a 5-minute stroll prior to cycling, jogging, running, resistance training, or weight lifting is essential to avoid triggering a migraine attack. Post workout too, gentle stretches can aid in lowering your BP and heart rate.
Make exercise your everyday routine by following the tips to make it safe. When followed properly, exercising is an effective natural treatment for migraine headaches.