[Study] Aerobic fitness can actually decrease the number of migraines

May 13th, 2015

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that increasing aerobic fitness can actually decrease the number of migraines you suffer and the intensity of the ones that do occur.

Researchers from the Institute of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Kiel, in Germany, studied the effects of a 10-week aerobic running exercise program on chronic migraine sufferers. The participants ran 3 times per week.

8 chronic migraine sufferers did not participate in the running/fitness program and 8 sufferers did participate.  In the sufferers that participated compared to the sufferers who didn’t, there was a:

1. A reduction in the number of migraine days per month

2. A reduction in the intensity of the attacks

3. A reported decrease in stress levels

Before, starting any new exercise program, it is recommended you check with your physician as to the safety of such a program for you.  This study shows that starting a running program, even at modest speeds and for just minutes a day, as you build up your fitness level, you will experience decreases in the number and intensity of migraines you experience.

It is suggested that if running is too strenuous for you, or if you have physical limitations that make running difficult, that you start with brisk walking, at a challenging pace, for 20 minutes a day, working yourself up to 30 minutes and at an ever increasing pace.

Curt Hendrix


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