Strength training and cardio could be promising for MAV

Hi all,

Just been reading up on a few things here, and came across some cool stuff. Strength training can be very beneficial to the nervous system and help us get a grip on our balance. Check out the link below! And as we know already that some cardio (jogging, aerobics) is great for blood circulation and increases our much needed brain chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine and of course dopamine.

Now here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking about getting to the gym, hitting the weights first for about 1/2 an hour and do some cardio for 1/2 an hour. That’s only 1 hour of my time at the gym to help knock this dizziness on the head a bit. Maybe do that 3-5 days a week and see if there’s any improvement over time. I really believe that Migraine affects the nervous system because some of us have tingling and numbness as a common symptom. And Migraine also effects blood circulation because lightheadedness and of course the vascular painful headaches seem to be another common complaint.

In theory, the strength training will improve the nervous system and cardio will improve blood circulation along with the rising of some depleted brain chemicals. Since I’ve been hit with MAV, I rarely hit the weights because I always thought that weightlifting wouldn’t benefit me at all as far as the dizzy’s go. I’ve always thought that the best way to combat MAV is through cardio. But maybe I’ve been missing the boat on the weight training.

Weight training also is very beneficial to the hormones too. Helps keep them well balanced. Especially testosterone if you’re doing leg exercises like squats and leg press. Weight training also causes the release of the human growth hormone in the hippocampus area in the brain as well. If I’m thinking correctly, isn’t the hippocampus where they believe migraine is coming from? So some stimulation in there should be beneficial as well.

On another site, I read that over time, weight training causes the nervous system to send signals from the brain quicker and more efficient. Not only to the muscles that you’re training, but all throughout every nerve you have. Which sounds promising. What do you guys think? Maybe I’m misreading some of this stuff, but It all looks very promising in theory here. I think I read it and understand it all pretty clearly and I’m going to give it a shot.

Here’s the link:


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Hey Greg, I havent read the link cause I’m on my phone right now but I wanted to sah how I started back at the gym a couple weeks ago, been doing a spinning class for one hour 3 times a.week. I have some weight I need to lose so im sticking with it but I do notice im more dizzy in the afternoon on the days I workout. My dizziness is pretty much under control with meds, not all the.way but I live a fairly normal life, im hoping my brain will get the hint though because I seriously have about 20 pounds to lose. Keep us updated on how you do. Ill have to read this article when I’m on my laptop.


keep up the good work. Just make sure you’re getting enough water and sleep so you don’t get exhausted. I’ve always said that I think the key to beat MAV is a good exercise program. And with the help of a med, you should really see some benefits in the future.

Afternoons are a pain in the ass for me too. I’m always the least dizzy at nighttime. The mornings aren’t so bad, but for some reason, midafternoon sucks for me. I do my jogging right now at 6 pm. Maybe that’s why midafternoon sucks. Of course I just started jogging again this week so I’m pretty fresh at the moment.


I did get some benefit doing Feldenkreiss method exercises, which focus on the nervous system. It didn’t cure me, but it helped settle the nervous system and provided some relief during the worst of times.


do you still do the exercises? That’s great that it helped. That’s another positive effect from exercise treatment other than just cardio for MAV. Great, thanks!!!


I have not done it for a while, but reading your post reminded me how that had helped and I need to get back to it.

I’m glad the Feldenkrais training was useful for you, Inafog. I did study with Moshe, many years ago,and subsequently worked with Awareness Through Movement. I recently made the acqaintance of a local OT who teaches the classes. I haven’t gotten a lot out of it lately, though. I suspect that it’s a matter of meditation being settling, any meditation, and I do others.

More interesting stuff I read on how strength training particularly in the legs can improve balance. The main reason your balance improves with strength training in the legs is NOT because it makes the legs stronger, but because the electric signals in the nerves sent back and forth from the brain to the legs are more improved over time. The key to better nervous system function through strength training is to do lighter weights with higher repetitions.

Sounds like the part of the brain that controls balance is getting direct stimulation when doing leg exercises like squats and lunges etc. That has to be beneficial for balance even for people like us. Almost like certain VRT exercise (not the following the dot on a card with your eyes exercises). The difference here is adding weights to strengthen the nervous system to get that extra balance boost.

I think this could benefit a lot of those with symptoms of rocking, swaying and false sense of movement with the feet. It may not do a whole lot for visual vertigo, but who knows, with the help of knocking out some of those symptoms could maybe cause a chain reaction within the whole vestibular system and indirectly even help with the other symptoms like the visual stuff. I know that’s wishful thinking, but doesn’t sound impossible. I do notice on day’s when my swaying isn’t bad, my visual stuff is better too. Then I get in the good moods and my balance as a whole does pretty well and close to normal. Then I usually have a setback and I’m frustrated and everything just seems to get worse from there until another good day comes around. :frowning:


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Yesterday I did some weights and some cardio for an hour at the gym. Today I’ve eaten quite healthy compared to my most recent eating habits. Results are:

Sore chest and arm muscles, throbbing right side headache for most of the day. The headaches are so bad my right eye feels like shutting all the time. I hate changing things up cause this always happens. Even though I’m changing things for the better. I just gotta keep telling myself that after a few days or a few weeks, I’ll feel better and more improved than before. Whatever, this sucks! I feel exhausted. Oh yea, the dizzi’s have been a roller coaster all day.

I was doing pretty well until about 10:30 in the morning. I actually felt great earlier on, no headache or anything. But it all went to hell after 10:30. As soon as the dizzi’s ramped up, the headache started. I knew my day was over then and I’ll have to wait until tomorrow and see how it goes. But I’m going to the gym tonight for an hour. I’m forcing myself and I’ll pull through. In fact, I know that when I’m working out somehow the headache will disappear. Everytime I’ve had a headache before exercise, It’s ALWAYS gone away in the middle of my workout. I have no idea why, but it just does. So at least I know that the headache is gonna go today. YAY!!!


Today I worked my legs out for the first time in a almost 2 years. I did squats, lunges, and leg extensions. I worked with a personal trainer today to make sure I had the proper form going. I haven’t worked out legs since MAV came on. When I was younger I used to do very heavy lifting with my legs and I had a lot of strength with my legs. The most I’ve squated in my past was 315 pounds, so I’m no stranger to leg exercises-although I had to have a personal trainer because it’s been soo long and my obvious balance problems over the past 2 years have probably screwed with my leg muscles, so I needed someone behind me making sure I don’t lose form.

These days I walk more with my left leg doing most of the work and I was forced to do the exercises with both legs doing equal amount of work. After my workout, my right leg and right glute are much more sore and weaker than the left. In the past that has never happened, so I guess that just confirms that my left leg actually has been pulling the majority of my body weight since i got MAV.

Hopefully as the right leg catches up with the left leg, that’ll improve my balance as a whole. Since I’ve been home from the gym, my balance has been very exceptional, although I’m sitting a lot right now, but today the balance was much better than yesterday. No headaches today either. I felt a great deal of promise for the future because of today’s workout. Even though it’s very early and I’ve only been training really hard for 3 days, I feel that I’m heading in the right direction and I’m making some positive strides.

My diet is very good too and my mood has been fantastic. I just hope after a couple weeks of doing this I’ll still feel like I’m heading in the right direction. I just have to stay at it and not let anything take me away from my program right now. Consistency is the key here and I gotta keep going if I want the results I’m looking for. So far so good, but it’s only been 3 days so we’ll see. I’m sure a setback is right around the corner, but I don’t care. I’ve had setbacks before so I know how to handle them better now and not get discouraged.


I joined a gym last month after not doing any exercise since I got hit bad in 2008. I can’t tell if exercising help or hurts the dizzies/headaches, but I’m enjoying the post-exercise endorphins. I go in the morning before work which means I have to go to bed early which means my free time is now totally gone. I did have an epiphany that I like to be left alone at some time during the day (busy job, busy home life) and I can listen to my tunes while working out and have “me time”. Maybe added strength will help with balance?

dizzymingo, there’s no question in my mind that the extra strength will help with the balance. How can it not? I don’t think it’ll cure it completely, but I’m sure it’ll help more than hurt.

I’m definatley loving the endorphins afterwards. Feels sooooo good and puts me in a great mood. I love it. I do weights for the first half hour and then epliptical for about 20 minutes and I gotta say, I love how I feel doing both weights and cardio. I’ve been only doing cardio since I got MAV and now I’m starting to think I should’ve been doing strength training with cardio all along. Seems like the complete package as far as exercise goes. I love it right now, I just hope I feel the same in a few weeks. My dizziness was pretty good today. I’d have to say I was about 80-90% all day long. Soooo much better than the 50-60% I was at just 3 weeks ago when I was just sitting on my ass and not doing anything physical for a couple months. Exercise does make a difference for me anyway. I just gotta stick with it and keep on a healthy diet to support the exercise. I’m excited right now and I hope the benefits keep coming over the months.


Me, I get a lot more positive feeling from swims than from gym, though I do both.


Today I totally blitzed my car. Cleaned it from top to bottom, wax, the lot. And now I can barely move. WIPED OUT. It’s like I climbed Mount Everest today. Very annoying. :shock:

David & Scott,

Yea, I’ve been hitting the weights and eliptical all week and I’m feeling pretty good, although I feel as if I climbed mt. everest too. I’m sooo sore. I haven’t worked out with weights really since I got MAV. I skipped the gym on Friday. Today I was able to do a whole bunch of house cleaning. My dizziness has lightened up quite a bit since I’ve been working out hard. Small healthy meals throughout the day, but weekends I’m junking it up a little. On Monday though, back to business with the diet and gym. The reason I’m junking it up on the weekends is that I want to try and be realistic with these changes. So I have it in my mind that monday starts a new week and I can’t junk it up until the weekend again. Maybe 1 or 2 junky meals throughout the week, but not junky everyday. That’s my plan anyway. I gotta stay realistic or I’ll just fail again and I know it. As long as I’m doing what I’m suppose to at least about 70% of the time, that should be beneficial.