Walk Away From Migraines

Could it be possible that exercising can help to reduce the occurrence of migraines? Recent studies have shown that aerobic exercise can significantly reduce the incidence and severity of migraine headaches. The International Journal of Sports Medicine published a study that indicated that by increasing aerobic fitness a person can actually reduce their number of migraines, as well as the intensity of the migraines that do occur. Along with exercise, natural health supplements can do wonders for overall health. Many individuals claim they have noticed a reduction in migraines after adding dietary supplements to their life.

Researchers from the Institute of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Kiel, in Germany, studied the effects of a 10-week aerobic running exercise program on chronic migraine sufferers. The participants ran three times per week. They studied eight chronic migraine sufferers who did not participate in the running/fitness program, compared to eight sufferers who did participate. In those that did participate, there was a reduction in the number of migraine days per month; a reduction in the intensity of the attacks; and a reported decrease in stress levels.

A University of Gothenburg research group studied 91 migraine patients who were divided into three groups: One group exercised for 40 minutes per day for three days a week; another group took a migraine medication; and the third group received relaxation therapy. After three months on the program, analysis indicated that all three groups had similar levels of migraine reduction. The researchers concluded that: "No significant difference was observed between the groups," and that "exercise may be an option for the prophylactic treatment of migraine in patients who do not benefit from or do not want to take daily medication."

This is good news for migraine sufferers who choose to avoid migraine medication because of adverse side effects such as sudden loss of vision, pain around and behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, urination increase, muscle pain, muscle weakness, fainting, seizures, convulsions, back pain, side pain, difficult urination, confusion, drowsiness, sweating, increased body temperatures, hot skin and others.

Of course, a migraine sufferer can choose from any type of healthy and safe aerobic fitness activity. Some examples are:

  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Brisk walking
  • Bicycling
  • Running
  • Ice-skating
  • erobic dancing
  • Rowing
  • Walking

From all these activities, walking is considered to be the best aerobic exercise because it is easy, cheap and safe. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes! The best exercise for a person is the one they really enjoy doing. Alternating the new activities with the old activity will keep you more enthusiastic. Make sure you check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

In 2010, the U.S. News and World Report noted in the journal Neurology that teens with chronic headaches shared three factors in common: being overweight, smoking and not exercising enough. According to the study, teens that fit all three categories were more than three times as likely to experience headaches compared with teens that did not have these characteristics.

Clearly, it's important to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking enough water, since dehydration can contribute to headaches. Avoid overheating by exercising during cooler parts of the day. Relaxing through yoga could also help decrease headaches by focusing on deep breathing, relaxation and the elimination of stress, according to Yoga Journal. Finally, try adding natural health supplements like daily multi-vitamins and fruit powders to your life to boost your immune system and overall health. Of course, if your headaches persist, it would be wise to consult a trusted health care practitioner.

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