Should You Exercise If You Suffer From Migraine?


migraineMigraine is a severe headache associated with nausea, vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity. Though science is quite advanced today, still the exact cause of migraine has not been discovered. There are many triggering factors for migraine.

Exercise is a potent stress reliever, and stress is commonly linked to the occurrence of a migraine attack. On the other hand, exercise can also trigger migraine in some people.

Even though there are numerous benefits of exercising if you’re prone to migraine, for some individuals, a workout session can be a cause of the trigger of a migraine attack. So, you might be confused thinking whether it is appropriate to exercise if you suffer from migraine, aren’t you?  Read on to rest your worries and confusion.

Exercises can help you have relief from the migraine, but the exact way must be known to you.

How Exercise Works For Migraines?

Although exercises can trigger migraine attack in some people, a regular exercise routine can actually help reduce the overall number of migraine attacks you experience as well as the frequency of your symptoms. So, plan a regular exercise routine and follow it.

Also, exercises help your brain to release endorphins, which act as your body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins and exercises improve your mood and decrease your body’s perception of pain.

4 Healthy Benefits Of Exercises:

  • Boost your mood and feeling of well-being
  • Decrease your sensitivity to pain because exercise releases endorphins –hormones made in the brain
  • Promote a healthy sleep pattern (helps you fall asleep and stay asleep appropriately), which also lowers stress levels
  • Reduce the severity of migraine and headache symptoms as well as the frequency of attacks
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Also Read : Migraine causes

The National Headache Foundation has the following recommendations for exercise:

  • Warm up before exercising
  • Make sure you drink plenty of water while exercising and afterwards
  • If you have other migraine triggers, such as altitude or change in weather, be careful where you exercise
  • Follow a healthy posture
  • Limit high-impact exercises

How Often Should You Exercise With Migraines?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises (for instance walking) and 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening exercises (for instance light weight lifting) each week. But, it’s important to include flexibility exercises, such as yoga, too into your routine.

Exercise is a very important part of living a full, healthy life with migraine and/or headaches. So, talk to your doctor about beginning an exercise plan that can help you manage migraine and headache related pain and follow it regularly.

-Written by Dr Ishwari, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah

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