Getting 60 minutes of physical activity in per day is another powerful tool for controlling the migraine storm. Unless you have been told by a doctor to limit your physical activity, you can get your daily exercise by doing any activity you find enjoyable that gets your heart rate up and/or strengthens your muscles and bones. Check out the “Build Your Activity Plan” to see if you need to add more physical activity to your day.
If you want, drag and drop some additional activities into different days of the week using these guidelines:
Playing at the park
Fitness video or videogame
Exercise at gym
Tug of war
Climb rock wall
Pushups and situps
By exercising, you build new “highways” (blood vessels) in your body that let oxygen and other important nutrients more efficiently get to nerve cells in your brain. As a result, exercise actually helps make new nerve cells in your brain, keeps nerve cells healthy, and helps them work better even in times of stress. In addition, exercise causes your body to produce its own pain-relieving medication (endorphins)! Exercise also helps prevent a known risk factor for making migraines occur more often - becoming overweight. For all these reasons, exercise is a powerful means of controlling the migraine storm. For additional information on exercise and its benefits, click here.
Hate is a strong word – you may just not like what you think of as exercise! So make physical activity fun – do it with a friend or family member (or pet!), link the activity to something you do enjoy (e.g., listening to an audiobook of a favorite author while going for a brisk walk), pick activities that are more suited to you, keep changing the physical activities you do to avoid boredom, or just increase the activity that already exists in your day (e.g., climb the stairs a few times before going to your room rather than just once). Start with a small goal for daily exercise and build up from there – setting small goals that you achieve each day will give you a sense of accomplishment and help make exercise become a habit for you.
Awesome, you’re one of only about 20% of people that do – keep it up! Just make sure you’re not counting thumb texting or remote control arm raises as part of your daily exercise routine.
No you aren’t. People make time for what they prioritize. Getting enough physical activity is a choice that is totally up to you to make!
Exercising when not feeling well can be a challenge but is not impossible – avoid jarring/high impact activity if you have a headache, but the distraction from an activity like brisk walking and the endorphins released can actually help relieve a headache. Be sure to do a warm up activity and cool down activity (e.g., walk slowly before and afterwards), and drink at least one cup of water before and after the activity.