I know there are many times when you are lifting weights, taking a class, or doing your own cardiovascular exercise like running, and all of a sudden you have this sharp throbbing headache. So in this article I am going to talk about why we can get headaches during exercise and what measures we can take to avoid them.
What happens during a headache?
Nociceptors (the pain-sensitive ends of nerves) are stimulated by stress, muscle tension, dilated blood vessels, and other headache triggers, and send a message to nerve cells in the brain, indicating that a part of the body hurts.
Headaches usually affect six main areas. These areas are the muscles of the face and head, the blood vessels at the base of the brain, and the nerves of the scalp, throat, face, and mouth. Each affected area has a large number of pain receptors in its immediate vicinity.
Different chemicals help transmit pain-related information to the brain, including endorphins, natural pain relieving proteins. People who suffer from severe headaches or other chronic pain have been suggested to have lower levels of endorphins than people who generally do not feel pain.
Here is a list of factors that can cause a headache:
o Electrolyte or other mineral imbalance (eg, potassium and sodium)
o Ingesting too many salty foods and diuretic-type drinks such as coffee
or lack of sleep
o Chronic stress
o Lack of blood flow or muscle spasms
Let’s take a look at some steps we can take to avoid exercise-induced headaches:
1.) Drink more water.
– If you think you are drinking enough water … try drinking more! Because it is most likely not enough. Don’t just drink during exercise, drink before and after to prepare your body for rigorous work.
2.) Reduce your intake of natural diuretics.
– Drink no more than 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day.
– Eat less salty foods and processed meat.
– Don’t add salt! Train your taste buds to enjoy food and not salt!
3.) Supplement with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals.
– With today’s modern diet, your body is likely out of balance or deficient in certain nutrients. Take a multivitamin and multimineral as an insurance policy. The capsule form is the best because your body absorbs them more easily.
4.) Naturally increases endorphins in the body.
– Before starting the intense exercise, warm up very well and listen to motivating music.
– Focus on your breathing and meditate first for a few minutes. Underestimate before you stress!
– Try to get more sleep! At least 7-8 hours per night.
5.) Stretch and increase flexibility.
– Stretch at the end of each workout. This will improve flexibility, which will improve blood flow and recovery, which can lead to live vascular dilation in the head.
– Try Yoga … Excellent for flexibility, breathing and meditation.
Hopefully, this knowledge will help alleviate those painful headaches. If the headaches continue after taking all the necessary measures, I would advise that you seek a professional and ask your doctor to investigate this further.