Thinking about working out with a headache? Working out is a great way to protect your overall health. Through regular exercise, you help maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and support your body However, there are times when exercising is not the best idea.
If you experience chronic headaches, you’ve probably missed a gym day or two. It can be tempting to try to “work through the pain” and do your best regardless. Still, you should be careful. In many cases, exercising can make a headache worse.
“Should I Exercise if I Have a Headache?”
Headaches have many causes. The most common type of headache is the tension headache. These are linked to muscle tension in the head, neck or elsewhere. However, there are dozens of other possible causes.
Some headaches are created by serious, undiagnosed medical conditions. For example, there may be problems with the blood vessels of the head, the optic nerves or many other body systems. In this case, working out with a headache can be dangerous.
“Does Exercise Help Headaches?”
Exercise can help some headaches – especially those caused by stress.
If you are certain your headaches are caused by stress or other lifestyle factors, you might try light exercise to see how they react. Remember, it can take months before lifestyle changes affect your headaches.
Try these tips For Better Exercise
Maintain Good Posture
No matter what kind of exercise you’re engaged in, you should do your best to maintain the proper form. Good form helps prevent injury and distributes the benefits of exercise more fully throughout the body. As you tire, form gets harder – be sure to pace yourself.
Warm Up First
Never start with the most intense exercise you are capable of. Always warm up for at least five minutes at a slow or moderate pace. As you reach the end of your exercise, it is also a good idea to slow down for five to 10 minutes.
Some headaches are transient and caused by issues like dehydration. You can resolve these by drinking plenty of fluids, which will help you perform better when you work out. Be sure to keep water handy when performing any exercise.