There are many reasons you may be getting headaches after exercising. Here are a few of the most common reasons and what you can do to cure them.
A few of the most common triggers of headache after exercising is dehydration and over heating, improper exercise movements and poor sleeping conditions. Let’s examine each in a little more detail.
Dehydration and over heating – When you exercise, you cool your body through sweating. If you are drinking lots of water throughout the day and evening then you should be hydrated when you begin exercising. If you wait until just before and during your exercising to drink your water, then you have waited too long for the water to be used as perspiration and cool your body down. You need to learn to hydrate yourself long before you begin exercising. What you drink after your workout will rebalance your water stores for the next session. The body needs time to stock anything, water included. If you are getting headaches toward the end of your workout, and you’re not sweating enough during that workout, look to see you’re getting enough water throughout your day.
Over heating is linked to your water stores but can also occur if you workout with excessive clothing or you have too much sun directly on your head when working out or not letting your head ‘breathe’. Something like 70% of our heat is released from our head when exercising so be careful when running or exercising with a hat on. Take it off occasionally for cooling down. Too much heat in the body can lead to headaches caused by exercising. Watch running or exercising in the heat of the day or direct, strong sun. Learn to exercise in the cooler mornings or evenings.
Improper exercise movements – Holding yourself in a certain position while exercising can lead to headaches. Take the time to work through your movements slowly before picking up the pace. Watch for stress in the neck and shoulders area as well. For example, when running, relax your shoulders and shake loose your arms. Tension builds up quickly in the neck and shoulder area. And when not relaxed or stretched out, can lead to headaches later in the day.
Poor sleeping conditions – Not using the proper pillow or support when you sleep, or having a mattress in poor condition can stress the neck and back muscles which and either lead to tense and taunt muscles or pinched nerves all of which can cause headaches. Exercising can exacerbate the headaches. Check how you are sleeping and note how your head, neck and shoulders feel each morning upon rising. Sometimes doing simple neck and shoulder stretching exercises can keep the muscles loose and not bunch up and cause headache pain when exercising.
If you are getting headaches when or after exercising, monitor your water intake, your movements during exercise and your sleep positions. If they continue after making these changes, consult a doctor. Ruling out physical conditions will help her pinpoint what’s causing your pain.