How Fitness Changed my Life - and Gave Me Migraine Headache Relief!

Migraine headache relief was a fringe benefit of adopting a new lifestyle.

Thirteen years ago I discovered the profound difference fitness and nutrition could make in my life and I became interested in sharing my knowledge of the many benefits I discovered with others.

The day I suffered from my first migraine headache I had no idea what was happening to me, I thought I must have been dying because I had no experience or knowledge of migraines. I didn't realize the impact migraines would have on my life when I first discussed the diagnosis with my doctor.

For many years it seemed I had a migraine headache more often than not. Often times I was incapacitated as a result of the pain, making it difficult to hold down a job, make social commitments, or be a normal functional individual.

Of course I tried all of the current medications available to control the migraines, but time and again the side affects were worse than any benefits the medication offered.

I sent for information from the migraine foundation and discussed migraine headaches with medical professionals. Curiously, neither my physician nor my neurologist discussed exercise with me. Nor did either talk about nutrition, aside from alerting me to common food triggers. And the information I received from the migraine foundation was just more of what I already knew.

It happened that a close friend was offered complimentary passes to a new Y.M.C.A facility in our area, and asked if I would accompany her. This was the birthing place of my interest in womens health and fitness.

I was so impressed with the programs and equipment that I decided to become a member. The Y.M.C.A. offers many daytime programs for pre-schoolers and affordable babysitting for infants so before long I was packing up the children and heading to the Y.M.C.A where I enjoyed my own exercise program on a daily basis.

Along with a new interest in fitness came a new awareness of nutrition and general women's health.

For me the connection was obvious and I sought information on nutrition to complement my fitness program.

The benefits of my new lifestyle were immediately apparent to me.

The most amazing benefit was the disappearance of regular migraine headaches. I still get an occasional migraine headache but they are very infrequent and rarely last more than a day or two. This is by far more tolerable than enduring several migraine headaches a month that generally lasted four to seven days!

"...I have suffered from migraines since I was 8 (I'm 54). I was taking huge doses of medication and lived in fear of that next migraine headache. I joined Curves for Women in November to get in shape. My headaches have almost disappeared! Whether it's the exercise, prayers (I've said many) or even the Vitamin B complex I've begun, I am soooo grateful.

For many years, people (and my doctors)suggested exercise, but I didn't believe them. And preferred the sofa toanything else. I'm sorry now I wasted all those years and hope I canconvince somebody else to at least give exercise a try. The first weeks werebad, as muscle soreness increased my headaches. But that didn't last."

Linda DiStefano

Some of the other benefits I enjoyed were a seemingly unending supply of energy and stamina, better quality sleep, an enjoyment of new and interesting foods and new friends with common interests.

Another bonus was the firm, fit and defined body that now belonged to me and gave me confidence in all aspects of my life.

This led to my decision to become a fitness instructor and later to study nutrition and become a certified personal fitness trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) which has certified some of the country's top trainers. I am now able to be a positive influence in other peoples lives, helping them to enjoy the benefits of a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Now, not only am I following my passion but migraine headache relief is a fortunate bonus!

James Cottrill of contributed the following tips for anyone who might suffer a headache brought on by exercise.

"...If you're one of the millions of people who get regular headaches, exercise can be better than any drug, as Cindy's experience shows. It can cut down the frequency of headaches, diminish the pain of the headaches you get, and enable you to cope better in general. But what if exercise makes your headache worse, or what if exercise actually gives you a headache, or triggers a migraine?

First, if this happens for the first time or worse than ever before, see your doctor right away. It could be something serious. If your doctor has confirmed this is nothing to worry about, but the pain still gets worse during exercise, stop for a while to rest.

How can you stop the pain of exercise induced headache? First, read the tips here on Cindy's website, and take general precautions such as a proper warm up and cool down, and drinking lots of fluids. If dropping blood sugar levels are a problem for you, try a glucose tablet before starting, and try eating a full meal soon after you finish, or at least a snack. Some people find that taking a couple of ibuprofen (Advil) before starting keeps the pain away. Finally, you may need to try some lower impact activities, at least for a while. Follow these tips and you should find that over time the headaches become less frequent.

If you stop exercising because it seems to give you headaches, you're starting a vicious cycle which may leave you with more headaches in the long run. Find ways to make it work, and fight back against headache pain!"

James Cottrill

If you have ever thought of becoming a fitness trainer yourself, have a look at the ISSA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification course and study in the convenience of your own home. This is the way I did it and although it's intensive it's also exhilarating!

If you have ever thought of starting up your own online business or any sort of personal or business website, it may be closer than you think...see our Online business ideas for the story on how we did it for ourselves.

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