Migraines are often debilitating, making even the most routine tasks seem impossible. But exercise is an important part of maintaining your health, even when you’re dealing with migraines. With some planning and care, you can stay active despite your migraines. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Plan Your Workouts Carefully
If you know you’re prone to migraines, it’s important to plan your workouts carefully. Pay attention to your triggers and try to avoid them. For some people, this might mean working out in the morning rather than in the evening. For others, it might mean avoiding strenuous activity altogether and sticking to low-impact exercises like yoga or swimming.
You don’t have to go overboard with your planning — a simple migraine diary can help you track when migraines occur and what might have triggered them. This can be useful for figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.
If you do experience a migraine during or after a workout, don’t push yourself too hard. Stop if you need to, and rest until the pain subsides. It’s also important to warm up slowly and cool down gradually to avoid triggering a migraine. If you usually work out for an hour, try breaking it up into two 30-minute sessions instead.
You might also want to try exercises specifically designed for people with migraines, like tai chi or yoga. These can be gentle and relaxing, and they might help you avoid a migraine attack. No matter what kind of exercise you’re doing, be sure to listen to your body and take a break if you start to feel pain.
Eat Regularly and Stay Hydrated
When you’re dealing with migraines, it’s important to eat regular meals and stay hydrated. Blood sugar swings can trigger migraines, so be sure to eat a balanced diet and snack frequently throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water is also important — dehydration can trigger migraines, so be sure to drink before you’re thirsty.
You might also want to try a migraine diet, like the low-tyramine or ketogenic diet. These diets can help some people control their migraines, although they’re not right for everyone. Talk to your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is important for overall health, and it’s especially important when you’re dealing with migraines. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but some people need more. If you’re not getting enough sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. You might also want to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
Not only can a lack of sleep trigger migraines, but migraines can also make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Talk to your doctor about treatment options if you’re dealing with chronic migraines. Some medications can help prevent migraines and make them less severe when they do occur.
Get Chiropractic Care
If you’re dealing with frequent migraines, consider seeing an experienced chiropractor. Chiropractic care can help relieve pain and tension in the neck and shoulders, which can trigger migraines. Research shows that chiropractic care is effective for treating migraines, although it might not work for everyone.
You might also want to try other alternative treatments, like acupuncture or massage. These can be helpful for some people, although there’s not always a lot of scientific evidence to support their use. Talk to your doctor about whether these might be right for you.
Keep Up With Your Treatment
No matter what treatment you’re using for your migraines, it’s important to keep up with it. If you’re taking medication, be sure to take it as prescribed. If you’re using a home remedy, like relaxation techniques, be sure to do it regularly. And if you see a doctor or therapist for migraine treatment, be sure to keep up with your appointments.
In case of a migraine attack, have your medication ready and take it as soon as possible. Some medications work better if they’re taken at the first sign of a migraine. It can also be helpful to keep a cold pack or heating pad on hand to help relieve pain.
There you have it — some tips to help you stay fit when living with migraines. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. With the right treatment and effort, you can live a healthy and active life despite migraines.