If you suffer from migraines, you may mistakenly believe that you should avoid exercise, that you should hide in a dark room, waiting for the headache to pass. Exercise can help combat migraines, a strong and healthy body provides stamina and endurance and fight off or at least delay the triggers that initiate your migraines. Exercise relieves stress, and stress is often linked to migraine attacks.
A good, balanced exercise program includes:
- Cardio exercises
- Strength exercises
- And flexibility exercises
1. Cardio Exercises:
Old-fashioned LSD (long slow distance) involving longer sessions of low impact cardio work best for migraine sufferers. The following activities are recommended:
- Brisk walking around the block or on a treadmill.
- Aerobic dancing at home or in an organized class setting.
- Slow pedaling on your exercise bike.
- Swimming laps.
Plan on a solid 20-30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times each week for the best benefits.
2. Strength (Resistance) Exercises:
The leaner and stronger your body is, the greater your resistance to migraines, or your ability to quickly recover from migraines. Exercise and resistance training will better equip you to fight the triggers that bring on the attacks. Strength training should be viewed as prevention, however, as with your cardio exercises, only exercise if your migraine is not severed. Concentrate on building the strength of core and lower body and mid-section. It only takes 15-20 minutes every other day of bodyweight calisthenics, Pilates is also an excellent choice as there is little to no impact.
3. Flexibility exercises:
The third approach to a balanced exercise program is flexibility. Your flexible body will support and facilitate your cardio and strength exercises. Flexibility also ensures safety and reduces your risk of injury to joints, tendons and the attachments of your muscles to your bones. Additionally, flexibility exercises, including stretching, deep tissue massage, foam rolling and Yoga have a soothing effect and may prevent an upcoming migraine or a lessen the affects of low-intensity migraines.
Stretching exercises that improve your flexibility can be found in basic Yoga positions, particularly those that can be done while standing. You may want to avoid positions that require your head to be lower than your torso as this increases the pressure on your brain. Try poses like the Tree Pose, the Stand Side Stretch Pose and Warrior 1 and 2 Poses. Find ways to incorporate stretching and yoga throughout your day at home, the office or while watching television.
- 8 Dynamic Stretching Exercises To Improve Flexibility
- 9 Morning Stretching Exercises You Can Do In Bed
- Benefits Of Functional Flexibility Exercises – Beyond Gymnastics And Yoga
As you add these exercise programs to your daily routine, you will be using additional calories and fluids. Stay hydrated, drinking fluids and primarily water can lessen the occurrence or severity of headaches or migraines.