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How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine

by
author image Lynette DiPalma
Lynette DiPalma has 12 years of writing experience with various publications, ranging from novels to magazines to poetry. She is a full-time freelance writer and artist, specializing in wedding-related articles. She also holds a license in couples counseling focusing on holistic practices. DiPalma has Master of Arts in English from Eastern New Mexico University.
How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
A migraine can destroy your workout. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Sometimes a good workout can end badly when you develop an exercise-induced migraine headache. Some of these headaches are caused by the physical exertion of the body during exercise, while others are caused by the sudden drop of blood sugar brought on by intense physical activity. Identifying which is the trigger for your exercise-induced headaches will help you decide what will work best to prevent them.

Step 1

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Warm up. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Warm up. Warming up before exercise is a critical step in any exercise program, but it is especially important to prevent migraines after exercising because it allows your body to slowly work up to an active level, and it can help prevent muscle soreness, which can further complicate or provoke a migraine later on.

Step 2

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Begin slowly. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Begin slowly. According to Sue Dyson, author of "Migraines a Natural Approach," some doctors believe migraines after exercising may be the result of the shock of sudden activity on the body. Therefore, easing the body into activity beyond the warm-up can help further lower the chance of an exercise-induced migraine.

Step 3

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Stay hydrated. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Stay hydrated. Your body will react poorly to any kind of stress or strain when it is dehydrated, and migraine sufferers will find that staying well hydrated may help in and out of the gym.

Step 4

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Choose less forceful or lower-impact exercises. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Choose less forceful or lower-impact exercises. Weightlifting seems to be more likely to cause migraines, and some believe this is because of the stopping involved in the exercise since this movement can cause the blood vessels in the head to dilate. No matter what form of exercise you have been doing, you can try to switch to something less strenuous.

Step 5

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Keep a regular exercise schedule. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Keep a regular exercise schedule. According to a study published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology, doctors found that a sudden cessation of an exercise program caused an increase in migraine episodes, and that exercise-induced migraines were also more frequent when they began their exercise routine again.

Step 6

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Eat a full meal within an hour after exercising. Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Eat a full meal within an hour after exercising. Be sure this meal includes proteins and starches to help raise your blood sugar back up to normal levels.

Step 7

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Take some preventative medication before exercising. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Take some preventative medication before exercising. Try taking some ibuprofen first, but if this does not help, you can move to a stronger medication recommended by your doctor. You can also try taking a glucose tablet before exercising if you suspect that your migraines are due to the drop in blood sugar caused by exercising.

Step 8

How to Prevent an Exercise-Induced Migraine
Cool down. Photo Credit ULTRA F/Photodisc/Getty Images

Cool down. Just as the beginning of an exercise session can be a shock to the system, the end can be as well, so taper your exercise off slowly to prevent more shock to the system.

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