Exercise hell again

I’ve been trying to get aerobic exercise up again, not overdoing it I think and yet the results are hugely unpredictable. Drives me NUTS.

On Sunday, for example, I walked about 10 km all up and down the coast over a few hours. I felt good doing it and mildly tired at the end of it. On Monday morning I felt really good! Lots of energy and my mood was noticeably better and I felt energised at work all day. So I went again on Monday night but only a short 30 min walk but not too crazy. On Tuesday I was OK again and rested that day.

Last night (Wednesday) I went back out for a walk again but did a little more (about 5,000 steps according to the pedometer - or about 4 km) and in a shorted period of time. I felt fine throughout the walk and somewhat tired when I got home. Today I have the most horrendous migraine symptoms going on: head feels like it weighs 200 lbs, my memory is bad, very bad coat hanger headache, and to be honest, I just want to go home and lie down and do nothing (not an option).

So, I guess I did too much too soon? Maybe too vigorous? I never seem to be able to find the right “dose” of exercise to get good results or find the right way to incrementally increase exercise. I always go down in flames after a few sessions then never do anything again for ages because the fallout is too nasty … but it’s something that has to be done. GRRRRRRR

Anyone successfully been through this and then suddenly the migraine was not triggered? Or you felt better after persevering for a few weeks? Did anyone follow a plan?

Thanks S 8)

This article was worth a read by Dr Newman in New York:

[size=130]Exercise Can Be a Pain in the – Head[/size]

When it comes to exercise and migraines, you’ve got two sides of a coin, says Lawrence Newman, MD, director of the Headache Institute at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. Exercise can be an effective preventive measure against migraines in some people, he says, but in others, it can actually cause them. “We think migraine sufferers have a heightened neurological system,” says Newman.

“They’re more apt to develop a migraine when anything is out of the ordinary – when they get up too early, go to bed too late, skip meals, etc.” For that reason, Newman suggests that people prone to migraines establish not only a schedule of eating and sleeping regularly, but also of exercising on a regular basis.

Migraine sufferers don’t have to give up exercising, Newman says. Just start slowly, he advises, and don’t overindulge. “Ten minutes at a time should do it when you’re starting out. Increase your time gradually and you should be fine.”


Do you have the same effect when on the treadmill?

The reason I ask is that I sometimes get a headache from running outdoors but I don’t get one on the treadmill. I am not sure why, but I think it has to do with all the other visual stimuli when I am outdoors, plus the temperature issue. On the treadmill you are in a controlled environment and can adjust your speed. Where I work, we have an exercise facility. Nowadays, I run in an air-conditioned gym on a treadmill, with the lights off, just listening to music at a low level. I cannot run as far or as fast as I did pre-MAV, but when I control those factors, I can do a decent run.


I am ok with excercise but Dr Newman did tell me the same thing…I I go 5 to 6 days a week . However if I change from nights to morning I do need to adjust…This weather in NY sucks with the seasonal changes…For that the good Dr said this is my pattern and I need to just ride it out. He said I can take 2 Alleve 2 times a day and see if that works … I need to move to a dryer climate

Scott I’m the same. I can have 3 or 4 days of the gym in a row and feel great. Then another time just one session will trigger something. I guess it all depends on what else is going on in our lives. I think MAV sufferers can’t afford to be too reductionist about triggers.


Scott, I believe any change in your daily life good or bad will negatively affect migraine. Anything. No matter how light you start the exercise it doesn’t matter. It will probably take a few weeks or a month to get used to the new habits, then you’ll stop having such drastic setbacks. And if you’re lucky, the new lifestyle may also knock out the dizzy’s completely after a while. I’ve heard of a few people who have gotten rid of there MAV completely because they either added in a consistant exercise program with a med or exercise alone. But it has to be consistant or you’ll just keep having nasty setbacks.


I’m going through the same thing right now. I am trying to go back to the gym and get on a routine but it seems like every time I go, the next day I get a migraine. Like yesterday I felt great, had a fast walk and little running on a treadmill then today I woke up with a headache, slightly full ear, and I was a little dizzy, but felt a little better after I took a nap. I desperately need to lose some weight though. I had a baby in April then a couple months later got hit with MAV.

I’m wondering if I just keep going that my brain will get the hint.
Greg, that makes a lot of sense, I hope to get on a routine, and hopefully it will actually help in the long run. How much is too much though? I typically like going to spinning, and power pump(a toning class with light weights) I just don’t want to overload my brain. This would have been nothing last year :frowning:


I wonder if your migraine was just one-of-those-things and not related to your exercise? Personally I might trigger a migraine if I really overdo it, but not from walking like you did (although I don’t know how exactly you were walking, I am guessing it wasn’t like running a marathon in intensity). However, even with preventative medication, and avoidance of triggers most people still get migraines, it’s just that meds and lifestyle modifications can help reduce them. You sound like me in that you have a chronic problem, and realistically I can’t see either of us being entirely free of migraines. (Until we’re both really ancient, as I think most people find they do eventually decrease with old age.) I think you once posted something about raising the threshold for them (some analogy about being in a swimming pool with the water up to certain levels?) which was really apt and struck a chord with me.

Anyway, that’s just my (slightly rambling and unclear) thoughts on it…

I agree totally with the last comments…We can only manage as best we can. no cure…