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Fuel Up Before a Workout

It's Migraine Awareness Week this week. Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, affecting one in seven people. It's a recurrent throbbing headache that usually affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision.

So Migraine Awareness Week was set up to raise awareness of this painful condition. One thing that can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines as well as the less debilitating but still painful headache is regular training and exercise. It's because when we train, the body releases its natural painkiller: endorphins.

In addition, exercise also reduces stress and helps people to sleep better. Stress and lack of sleep are two of the major triggers of migraines and headaches.

There are other migraine triggers that it helps to recognise. These include: routine changes, too much caffeine, hormonal changes in women, high altitude, weather changes, high humidity, loud noises, exposure to glare or flickering lights, dehydration, missing meals or eating sugary snacks instead of a balanced meal, additives, alcohol and cheese.

Sometimes exercising can bring on a migraine, but there are ways to avoid this, so when exercising, follow a plan like this to prevent headaches and migraines developing:

  • Eat sufficient food 90 minutes before you exercise. Exercise causes blood-sugar levels to decrease, so it is essential to have an energy source.
  • Warm-up. Even if you've never had so much as a headache, it's best never to jump into abrupt exercise as you're more likely to pull something and cause yourself an injury. You are also more likely to cause head pain.
  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. If you are thirsty, have a drink!
  • It's always beneficial to warm-down to ease the body back to a more regular state, and doing this will also reduce the chance of headache or migraine.

Simple measures that can make your training enjoyable and beneficial. We hope to see you soon.