​​Headaches post-workout? Here’s how to avoid them! 

Working out can be a real headache—literally. An exercise headache, also known as an exertion headache, is pain that occurs during or right after physical activity. 

If you’ve ever experienced a headache during or after exercise, this post is for you. We’ll discuss what causes these headaches, what they feel like, and what you can do to avoid getting them. 

What causes an exercise headache?

When you work out, your body needs to work overtime to move blood and oxygen. Veins and arteries expand to meet the demand, which can place extra pressure on your skull, and hello, headache.

While most exercise headaches occur during or after aerobics, cardio, or weightlifting, they’re not limited to fitness-related activities. They can also occur due to exertion from coughing, sneezing, or straining to go to the bathroom. 

What does an exercise headache feel like?

Some say an exercise headache is the worst type of headache they’ve ever experienced. During an exercise headache, many report experiencing: 

  • Neck pain
  • Single or double-sided pain 
  • Throbbing pain
  • Migraine symptoms (sensitivity to light, nausea, vision changes)

What should you do if you get an exertion headache? 

Most exercise headaches go away on their own between a few minutes and two days. These headaches aren’t cause for concern for most people, but we recommend checking with your doctor to make sure. They can perform tests to scan for any underlying conditions. 

Is it possible to avoid exercise headaches? 

While some people are more prone to experiencing exertion headaches, it’s possible to reduce your chance of getting one. Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

  • Be sure to hydrate before, during, and after exercise
  • Avoid exercise in extreme heat or cold weather
  • Balance your blood sugar levels by eating properly before and after working out
  • Don’t skip the warm-up or cool-down 
  • Practice proper form — poor posture can add extra strain on your neck or shoulders, leading to a headache
  • Protect yourself from sunlight with sunglasses and appropriate attire
  • Get a good night’s rest 

If you still have headaches after following these tips, consider switching up your workout routine. Instead of running, opt for the elliptical machine or try pilates instead of weightlifting. Don’t sacrifice your comfort for your health. It’s possible (and recommended) to exercise without pain. 

Exercising can give you a headache, but getting your workouts in shouldn’t be a headache. With Enhancewell Fitness, you’re in control. You can schedule private sessions at a time that’s most convenient for you, from the comfort of your home, office, or hotel if you’re on the go, empowering you to prioritize your fitness journey. Our trainers will work with you to achieve proper form— a huge step toward reducing the likelihood of injury or headache. 

Get in touch today for a free discovery call. We’ll provide a fitness consultation and discuss your specific goals before beginning a private fitness regimen. Want to jump right in? Book your private session with Enhancewell Fitness here

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