All of my various neurologists and doctors tell me regular exercise is a key to preventing migraines. Once I got off Topamax (which closed my sweat glands), I eagerly got back into running and trained for a 5K using the couch to 5K plan. After the race ended, I tried to push myself too hard and noticed that overexerting triggered migraines too. Finding a daily exercise routine that does not trigger a migraine is harder than it sounds.
Enter: “Ballet Beautiful.” This is not a “barre” workout or a ballet routine. It’s a strength workout that focuses on using your own body as resistance instead of weights. Taught by Mary Helen Bowers of the New York City ballet, the routines focus on lengthening muscles.
Here’s some other things I love about Ballet Beautiful:
- It’s a women centered workout: Mary Helen focuses on lengthening inner thighs and hamstrings, for example, as opposed to bulking up the quads.
- The music is not traditional (migraine-inducing) DVD workout music. It’s a beautiful classical score that goes perfectly with each workout.
- Mary Helen created this routine while she was injured and unable to do a traditional workout. This probably explains why it’s so easy on my joints (I have issues with neck/shoulder/knees) but still strenuous enough to see results.
- I do it 2 or 3 times a week and I’m actually seeing results, which I can’t say about other DVD’s. I purchased the DVD’s in May but I’ve only really committed to it over the past few weeks.
- There are options for modifications and Mary Helen includes stretching and water breaks.
Be forewarned, that the studio background is bright white. Depending on your TV, this can be overwhelming, and I sometimes have to look away for a few seconds like I do when I’m at my computer. You can purchase workout DVD’s (I have the 60 minute one), take classes via Skype, or buy workouts for your phone or tablet. I’m not getting endorsed or paid to write this; I am really happy to have found a migraine friendly workout and I just wanted to share it. I recognize that everyone’s triggers are different, but this is just something that has been working for me!
What exercise do you like to do to prevent migraines? Does exercise trigger a migraine for you?