Migraine Relief Through Exercise

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Achieving migraine relief with exercise is a tricky endeavor. Overall physical activity will help prevent migraines. However, some forms of exercise may actually trigger migraines. Therefore, proper planning must be taken to develop a course of physical activity that will prevent migraines and help a person feel better. In addition, exercise can prevent a person from falling victim to other illnesses.

There are so many people who suffer from migraines and don’t realize that their lifestyles play a large role. Most jobs today are eight-hour desk jobs, which don’t involve much physical activity. In their leisure time, most people watch cable television, play video games or browse the Internet. This lack of exercise has devastating effects. It causes people to gain weight, and have reduced blood flow. This also makes it more difficult to sleep at night. The additional weight, impaired blood flow and difficulty sleeping add stress to the body and can all trigger migraines.

The benefits of exercise are numerous. Someone who exercises burns carbohydrates and fat. Reducing fat content in the bloodstream aids in blood flow.

The primary catalyst for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fat calories are hormones, such as epinephrine and glucagon. However, too much exercise makes the body release large quantities of these hormones into the bloodstream. This decreases serotonin levels in the brain, which then causes headaches. On the positive side, exercise helps the body use sugar for energy. Therefore the body needs less insulin, a hormone that breaks down sugar. Someone who exercises regularly would be need less likely to develop diabetes, which makes a person more prone to headaches.

Blood is responsible for transporting oxygen to the organs of the body. When a person is engaged in physical activity, blood flow is increased. Hence, the body gets more oxygen as a result. Many headaches stem from a lack of oxygen to the brain, so increasing oxygen flow to the brain would prevent headaches.

Physical activity also has the additional benefit of helping a person sleep better at night.  Sleep is one of the body’s greatest healing mechanisms, and reduces stress on the body. Improved sleep can help ward off migraines.

By increasing the time you spend exercising, but not overdoing it, you can find relief from your migraine symptoms.