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What’s Your Secret: What Do You Do For Exercise?

I know I am not alone in struggling to find a way to exercise that does not exacerbate migraine pain. Our migraine specialists encourage us to move, stretch, and if possible, get our heart rate up. Research shows that doing so can actually decrease migraine flare ups. However, the very act of doing so can be a trigger for many of us. In the video below, I demonstrate the Essentrics method, a unique path I’ve found after searching for many years.


Exercise does not have a one size fits all

When it comes to exercise, there is no one-size-fits all. Please share your secrets and resources for how, or if, you make exercise a part of your life in the comment section below. We are here to learn from one another so don’t keep your strategies to yourself!

If you have questions you’d like to pose to the community for the What’s Your Secret Video Series, please add them to the comment section below, or go to the Q&A page and submit your question there. We have a wondrous resourceful community with a wealth of information and support just waiting to help you out.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • glassmind
    6 months ago

    I also do yoga.

  • glassmind
    6 months ago

    In addition to exercise-induced migraines, I also have heart conditions that are complicated by some types of exercise. My cardiologist advised me against rigorous exercise, which blew my mind! To have a dr say “avoid exercise”? And I have joint conditions which limit my exercise options further. Whew.

    For general muscle toning, I do simple calesthetic exercises at home. Basically, tai chi type movements and things you might do at a physical therapy apointmnet. I use only my body weight and a very light exercise band for resistance.

    For circulatory and lymphatic health, I have a small at-home trampoline with a support bar. On this I walk/jog in place or just bounce. This is so fun! I also take sauna and hot mineral bath. These have been shown to have similar benefit to heart health as exercise and have the same precautions (stop if light-headed, dizzy, headache, etc) I do limit the amount of time in these activities to only a few minutes at a time.

    I also dance to music at home all the time especially while doing chores.

    I once was an avid hiker and cyclist and spent some time in mourning as I had to switch to tamer activities. I walk instead of hike and pedal leisurely. I dance like an 80yr despite being 40 rather than like my former 30yr old self.

    Light and easy exercise is better than none!


  • Holly Baddour moderator author
    6 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your approach to exercise and the various ways you’ve found that have worked for you despite the limitations of migraine (and other health challenges you’re navigating).

    I’m impressed that you’re able to bounce at all- as the thought of doing so seems like it would exacerbate pain- however, perhaps because you are doing so on a trampoline there is no hard landing?

    I love the way it sounds like you incorporate movement into your life around the edges despite feeling that migraine is aging you (I’m with you on that, too: So important to embrace that which brings us joy in the midst of such a demanding disease.

    Keep in touch! Great to hear from you today.

  • glassmind
    6 months ago

    @Holly Badoldour, Yes, the trampoline’s give makes it “low impact”. Sometimes, I do not even actually lift my feet. I just stand in place and bounce a bit. So that is “no impact”.

    There is a show, Medical Frontiers, from NHK World Japan that often showcases the benefits of “slow exercise”.

    That’s basically what I do these days. “Lazy exercise”. Lol

  • Kohenjohns
    7 months ago

    I take a preemptive strike against my exertion migraines by taking indomethcine. I Crossfit and most of the time it does the trick. Or at least makes it bearable until my workouts over when I take a Cambia or Diclofenac

  • Holly Baddour moderator author
    7 months ago

    I’m so impressed that you are capable of doing crossfit in the face of migraines and am fascinated that you’ve been able to find a preventative med to take to offset those exertion migraines! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s wonderful to learn from one another. That’s what we’re here for.

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