Natural Headache Relief

Lifestyle Changes for Headache Relief

For many people, lifestyle changes can be quite effective at reducing the frequency and severity of headaches. Some of these lifestyle changes include:
 
  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation
  • Getting adequate amounts of sleep
  • Quitting smoking (if you smoke)
  • Limiting alcohol intake.
     
Part of the reason these changes can be effective with headaches is that stress and anxiety are two of the most common contributors to headaches.
 
Physical Activity
Exercise has been shown to decrease stress and help with headaches. When many people hear the words "exercise" or "physical activity," they think this means they have to do strenuous exercises every day. However, that's not true; all you need is 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise on most days of the week. If you already engage in 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise a day, you can get added benefits by doing more or choosing a more vigorous activity.
 
Brisk walking, bicycling, and gardening are examples of moderate-level physical activity. You can even divide the 30 minutes into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each. For instance:
 
  • Use stairs instead of an elevator
  • Get off a bus one or two stops early
  • Park your car at the far end of the lot at work.
     
There are a couple of important things to keep in mind about physical activity and headaches. First, you should not exercise when you have a headache. Also, if your headaches get worse with exercise, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider.
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