Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays where we are talking about one exercise topic for two minutes and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice. Now this week, we are talking to those of you who suffer from chronic headaches. What do you need to keep in mind with your headaches to make sure that 1) you get your workouts in and 2) your headaches don’t get worse despite exercising while having the headaches?
1) Stay Moving Throughout The Day
Exercise Tip Number One If You Suffer From Chronic Headaches: Make sure you stay moving throughout the day. A lot of times, chronic aches and pains can be used as a reason to rest and relax. While you do need to be resting and relaxing, it is also important to keep your blood moving and your muscles healthy. Making sure you stay moving throughout the day can accomplish this and may even help your headache subside.
Action Step: Get up and walk around for 5-10 minutes every hour to keep your body moving and healthy. It doesn’t have to be intense, but even just light motions may help you to start feeling better.
2) Be Mindful Of Your Exercise Intensity
Exercise Tip Number Two If You Suffer From Chronic Headaches: Be mindful of the intensity with which you are exercising. See if there is any kind of correlation between how hard you are exercising and whether or not you get a headache. Sometimes, when people exercise really hard, that can actually start to create headache-type symptoms. If you are noticing this is happening to you, ease off of your workout intensity and use your headaches as a guide to determine how hard you should be exercising.
Action Step: Exercise at an intensity such that you feel good after, not beat up and achy. If you are having negative responses to your workouts, cut the intensity of your workout in half and gradually ramp back up from there.
3) Don’t Use Excessive Motion Or Speed
Exercise Tip Number Three If You Suffer From Chronic Headaches: When you are lifting weights, be mindful not to use excessive motion or excessive speed. The two main things we see causing excess stress on the body are too much motion and too much speed while moving. Make sure you are being mindful of how much motion and speed you are using because your body is already being challenged from the pain in your head, so make sure you are not adding to this by stressing your muscles, as well.
Action Step: Move slowly and limit the amount of motion you are using while you are exercising. You should be the slowest person in the gym. And, if you aren’t sure how much motion is too much, consider not moving at all and utilizing isometrics while you workout.