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Doing Sports and Migraine

It feels good to be able to share my pain through a platform in which people would understand you, even though I really wish no one had to suffer from migraine.
aside from the pain and the side effects of the drugs I use, I really would like to be active and enjoy sports. It will help me lose weight and be more positive. unfortunately even walking could trigger headache. any ideas?


    O empathize completely. Some days I push through, some days I just can't. I thought you might find some of the tips shared in this article helpful: I hope that helps a bit. -Warmly, Donna (team member)

    1. Hi there! I'm so glad you're here. Having a place where you can feel understood and truly heard is so important.

      Exercise comes up around here all the time. It's hard to say what exercise will be best for you as everyone's migraine experience and physical health is different. You may want to experiment with different kinds of exercise and equipment. Tai chi is very gentle, as is yoga. Maybe strength training would be better than cardio for you.

      Those are just general thoughts -- we've had many conversations on this topic here, so I'll leave you a link to a search I did of our archives. Maybe something in there will be useful.

      We're happy to bounce ideas around with you. It might also be worth it to talk with a personal trainer or a doctor. Let me know what you think! -Melissa,

      1. I love to exercise and I am finally figuring out (at age 56) that the key, at least for me, to avoiding migraine after exercise is to know when to scale it back. Unless I have a vestibular (dizziness) symptom, I do yoga every day without exception, for about 20 minutes a day. I also walk every day. I find that I am able to tolerate these two exercises and if my goal is to do this daily, at least I've done something even if it's mild exercise. I used to do a lot of strength training and then I let it slide; now I am back to weight work but it can't be crazy like when I was 30. Now the weights are lighter and stretching afterwards is absolutely mandatory. Swimming is a wonderful exercise if you can get to a pool - lots of migraineurs find that swimming keeps the shoulders and neck area loose and the cool water helps inflammation. So whatever you like to do, try doing it on a scaled-back level and see how you feel. A little is always better than nothing!

        1. This is terrific (and well-earned) advice. It's so true that exercise done with care - and with an eye toward pacing and not overdoing can lead toward success and less flare ups afterward. I, too, walk everyday- and when I can I will do some gentle stretching and movement. In this video, I share one particular form of stretching and exercise that has helped with that shoulder tightness you speak of- for me the trick is to avoid any impact exercise at all as that's an automatic trigger for me: Really agree that anything is better than nothing. Thanks for sharing! Warmly- Holly ( team)

      2. I am in the same boat. I was always athletic and in shape for the most part. Not exercising made me gain weight but even walking sometimes hurts. I tried some HIIT classes and kickboxing- these were awesome until after I stopped and knew it was a mistake!! I can walk now without hurting too bad but I think sometimes even the anxiety of walking gets me in a certain way. I always think will I have to call my husband to come get me because I can walk back due to severe pain. I do need to incorporate slow strengthening exercises but I feel like right now even that hurts me. Hang in there!!

        1. Good for you for continuing to try various approaches despite the pain that trial and error can cause. It's a challenge to keep from curling up into a ball and calling it a day. Great that your husband can be your back up if things go wrong and you need some assistance. It's so important not to overdo and find ways to pace as we go. Thanks for chiming in! Warmly- Holly ( team)

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