Exercise helps prevent migraine, but for about a third of people living with migraine, exercise is also a trigger. The best theory is that the sudden increase in cardiac activity causes a spasm in blood vessels in the brain, which is one of the things that can start an attack. Beta-blockers can be an effective preventative for people with exercise-induced migraine.
If you live with exercise-induced migraine, you probably did not have much difficulty identifying this trigger. However, you don’t have to avoid exercise entirely. Here are some tips to help you to exercise without triggering an attack:
- Avoid high impact activity or anything that needs a great or sudden burst of physical exertion.
- Do long warm-ups and cooldowns to smooth the cardiac activity.
- Consider smoother sports, like yoga and swimming, over higher intensity sports like boxing or football.
- Stay well hydrated and, if possible cool – exercising indoors in an airconditioned environment may be best.