Exercise and migrain update

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Post  alli on Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:10 am

I've been on my exercise regimine for a bit over 2 months and have gone down one whole size. Yay!! AND I am having fewer and shorter migraine attacks. Double Yay! I feel so much better as far as my mental state and migraines go. The body pain is a bit better but the neuropathy in my extremities are still bad. Since I exercise in the morning I am able to get my workout in before the pain is too bad. I've had to use my cane if I'm walking more than a couple of blocks or standing for any length of time but that doesn't really affect the bike riding so I'm still getting in my 5-6 miles a day (to and from work). My rear is looking soooo much better with muscle back there instead of extra fat. Smile

So people, IF you can start exercising, do it. It may just help reduce the darn attacks.
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Post  jwar on Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:44 am

Congrats on sticking with this for two months! That is a great accomplishment and you should be proud.

I also find that regular intense exercise does wonders for my head. I bet you'll continue to see happy improvements with your migraines: the more fit I become the fewer I get.

Unfortunately, I fell off the exercise wagon for a couple of months since we moved houses. Once you fall off it is so hard to get back on, but I started P90X again this weekend. I can't wait to start feeling better!

I also find that I get less depressed about being a migraineur. I feel less crippled by the disease when I see what my body can still do.
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Post  lentils on Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:17 pm

That's sounds great, Alli. Wish I could still do 5 miles a day.

Jwar,
I've started a ketogenic diet and a diary to see if I can get my migraines down to less than 1 a month.
I've had 6 migraines in 8 weeks and looking back I can see that I was stressed and that caused me to eat badly. Prior to that I had 10 migraines since January. I've already been eating pretty well prior to the slip so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Let me know how your diet goes.



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Post  AZgirl on Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:13 pm

Way to go, Alli!

I started taking oxycodone the same time I started my walking, so I don't know which one is making the difference, or if they are maybe even working together, but I felt better during the first month of starting those two, too.

Saturday, Sunday, and today just happen to be not-so-great days, so let's just hope it's a passing phase. I want to get back to feeling better.

Congrats on the "body-shaping"!
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Post  alli on Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:51 am

I'm so glad that so many of us are starting to exercise. I've been watching Dr. Oz and The Doctors in the afternoon and I am even more motivated after I hear what extra weight and diabetes does to your body and brain. Since Type 2 diabetes runs in the family that really concerns me. My roommate is Type 1 and just watching what she goes through every day is even more motivation to get in shape.

Even with this disease, I am determined to get through the rest of my life being as healthy as possible. And I am so glad to see that we are getting out there and moving!

Kudos to all of you!
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Post  milo on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:31 am

For those of you who are able to get your heart rate going up without triggering a migraine, I highly suggest checking out a new cheap DVD that I bought.

It's called 30 days to shred and it give a great basic workout for very few bucks. I bought a Gillian Micheals three pack that included the shred, a full yoga workout and a 1 hour fat burning workout. All for just 20 bucks.

The shred can probably be downloaded as it's just a 20-25 minute workout.

It has three levels, and all three levels have modified moves as well, so you basically get six different levels.

It's a very hard but basic workout for someone who is moderatley fit.

It does have a lot of lunges and squats and it uses 2-4 pound weights and a yoga mat, but you could easliy just use soup cans.
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Post  Chinookgrl on Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:01 pm

Milo I have that DVD as well. It's a good home workout, doesn't take too long and hits a little of everything.
I use that when I can't run or get to the gym, its short so its easy to sneak in to the day. Her book is good as well.
Lots of good nutritional advice.

It does help to exercise and I do try whenever I feel good. I try to build a workout early into my day as most of my migraines set in as the day progresses.
Good luck keeping up the exercise everyone, some days it feels too daunting but I usually feel better after bounce
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Post  Jangel on Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:05 am

Hi folks - have been lurking for the past weeks, but not posting...just very busy and distracted. Hope everyone is hanging in there!

Unforutunately, exercise is a BIG trigger for my migraines, so I have to be really vigilant when it comes to working out. If I am at a particularly bad point in my cycle or if I have any head pain at all, I cannot exercise at all or else I will get a full blown migraine.

I have discovered that running/jogging is out of the question for me - too much jarring of the head. So, when I am feeling okay and my other triggers are less, I can bike, hike/walk and do the elliptical machine. Sometimes I cannot get my heart rate up too high or get overheated - that can bring on the migraine like gangbusters.

Some of us are in a catch 22 since exercise can certainly help overall with our migraine disease, but for many of us it is a potent trigger. I am working with my Dr and carefully assessing how to get some exercise in without making my situation worse. Challenging!!

I will say that I have been doing weight watchers for the past 15 mos. or so, to take off all the weight I put on when the migraines were at their worst, and I am happy to say that I have taken off 35 lbs, most of it with very moderate exercise and mostly by watching what I eat. Now, I am trying to take off the last 20 lbs. and need to exercise more...hence, trying to find a way without making the migraines worse.

Does anyone else here have exercise as a migraine trigger? If so, how have you dealt with it? Any solutions?

Have a great and migraine-free day....
cat
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Post  HeelerLady on Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:37 am

Jane - Congratulations on losing the weight! That's fantastic. I know what it's like to try to lose weight and deal with M. I started Jillian Michaels Online a year ago May. Unfortunately the M monster started in June and made exercise a real challenge. I cannot get my HR up too high or I spike a M and overheating does the same thing. I reached my goal by walking 45 minutes a day with my dogs...it didn't spike my head and I could control the pace.

So my advice would be to watch the calories and do what you can. For me it was walking but the other thought that came to mind is could you swim? That would eliminate the jar factor and would keep you cool. Just a thought.

Again congratulations on your accomplishments to date. Smile

Becky
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Post  milo on Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:10 am

Working out WAS a trigger, so I needed to start so slowly that I did not get my heart rate up. Many folks would argue that doing so was counterintuitive but it worked for me.

I went from not being able to work out at all to running a full half marathon in a decent time.

The DVD I mention would not be appropriate for anyone dealing with this issue, as it works you really hard really fast.

I still find that I can't do a hard workout after noon. If I miss my morning workout then the most I can get away with is a long slow walk...if it's not too sunny out.

I AM one of those people that get triggered from working out, and I DID manage to work my way through that...so it is possible for some of us. It wasn't easy but it is worth it.
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Post  jwar on Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:02 am

Running used to triggers auras for me, but I worked my way through it, too. Basically, if I do a really gradual and lengthy warm up (say for 10 minutes, increasing the speed in small increments every minute or so), I'm fine. If I don't I get triggered.
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Post  tdu on Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:07 pm

milo wrote:Working out WAS a trigger, so I needed to start so slowly that I did not get my heart rate up. Many folks would argue that doing so was counterintuitive but it worked for me.

I went from not being able to work out at all to running a full half marathon in a decent time.


The DVD I mention would not be appropriate for anyone dealing with this issue, as it works you really hard really fast.

I still find that I can't do a hard workout after noon. If I miss my morning workout then the most I can get away with is a long slow walk...if it's not too sunny out.

I AM one of those people that get triggered from working out, and I DID manage to work my way through that...so it is possible for some of us. It wasn't easy but it is worth it.

I think that's a real key point. I have worked out consistently for years at a fairly high level (including grappling and martial arts). I had to take a couple of months off due to another health problem, and am getting back into the swing of things now.

The thing is, when I initially started working out it would occasionally trigger migraines. I used them as a reminder to take things in steps though, gradually worked my way up to a really high level, and rarely had working out trigger a migraine again. I worked with a trainer for a bit to learn better ways to train and what my limits were (researched the right trainer). And when I got to a point (and I will get to that point again again), I definitely felt the exercise was helping with the migraines.

I am not denying there are people who just can't work out due to their health problems. But I think a huge issue is that a lot of people just don't work out the right way, and give up too easily. The benefits were well worth the time and effort for me.

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Post  Migrainegirl on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:13 am

I think it is amazing that anyone can exercise while they have a migraine. When I have one moving at all, even just to get something off the night stand, seems to take superhuman effort. I just can't seem to do even minor things when I am like that.
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Post  02R96 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:24 am

When I went through the pain clinic's program, one of the things was to get moving and resist the urge to lay down during a migraine, plus starting a regular exercise program. This sounded good in thought, but in actual practice I found it amplified the headache.

I could never stick to a regular routine because just when I thought I could manage a few minutes on the tread mill, that's all it took to turn up the pain level.

I had to write that off as a way to help my pain. Neutral

My hats off to anyone it helps though!
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Post  tdu on Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:19 am

To clarify, I do not work out WITH a migraine. That would be impossible. I don't do a full on workout if I have signs of one coming on. I started working out on the 'good' days, and the 'good day' got more frequent over months of work.

I guess I am kind of a 'mind over matter' type of person. Again, I know there are people who are totally debilitated by migraines, I am just listing my own experiences here.

When I was worried sick that an activity like working out was going to trigger a migraine, and was thinking there was no way I could do it... I couldn't do it, and it would trigger a migraine (same applies to a lot of other activities in my life). I really felt working out could help improve my lifestyle if I could find a way to do it properly, and in the end it has. It hasn't stopped my migraines, but has helped, and it sure has made my life outside of my migraines a heck of a lot better. Everyone knows what a hit our energy levels take from a 3 day ripping headache (or longer) and having the strength to recover is a huge benefit. And just doing something positive with my body just makes me a little more positive in general.

Even if it's Tai Chi or some really light yoga, I think some level of activity is very important.


Last edited by tdu on Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  tecky on Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:04 am

I can relate to Dan's and Migrainegirl's experiences. During the rare moments that I'm feeling less pain, I have all I can do to get some laundry done, cleaning or simple cooking. Any of the activity seems to amplify the pain.
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Post  milo on Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:43 am

tdu wrote:To clarify, I do not work out WITH a migraine. That would be impossible. I don't do a full on workout if I have signs of one coming on. I started working out on the 'good' days, and the 'good day' got more frequent over months of work.

I am the same.
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Post  Petzi on Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:06 pm

Exercise = adrenaline = migraine = Petzi very unhappy

Simples!

P
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