Don't Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much Of Today-26Exercising may decrease headaches. It is certainly crucial for weight loss. To get the most of the benefits of exercise, you only need to think of exercising in small chunks of time, even 10 to 15 minutes. Most people are able to fit exercise more easily into their lives when thinking this way. We are looking for a total of 20 minutes daily on average. The more the merrier. Some people do well counting total minutes of exercise from Monday to Sunday, including everything (walking, etc.). Used fitness equipment places have good, inexpensive stationary bikes.

It helps to have a routine, whether it is regular walks, classes, or equipment to use at home. A stationary bike is easy to use; you can read or watch TV while riding, and even 5 or 10 minutes at a time will add up. Studies have shown that short intervals of exercise throughout the day can be as effective as doing one prolonged session. I think the old mantra of “getting your heart rate up to a target #, for an intense hour” actually kept people from exercising; the idea is to just do something, anything for any period of time.

If you do not enjoy what you are doing, you will not continue it. Health clubs are great, and the classes are motivating. Pilates is core work, and is crucial for preventing back pain, and falls as we age. There are DVD and cable TV Pilates, but live classes are best. Five or ten minutes of Pilates or core work, three or four times per week, helps quite a bit. Yoga is also very good and can help with stress and headaches. Even 5 or 10 minutes of yoga is beneficial. Consider using a personal trainer.

Remaining active throughout the day is also important. People who are moving throughout the day instead of sitting are in better shape than those who sit all day and exercise only at night. Standing at the computer may help the core, and taking frequent breaks from sitting is important. The Fitbit (or similar step counters) are motivating and helpful.

Many people get into diet and exercise, for a period of time, and then out of it. Getting back into exercise takes some inertia, such as just walking (or a stationary bike) for 5 minutes. Just do something for a few days, and you will get back “into it.” Do not worry about “going to the club and getting my heart rate up and exercising hard for an hour.” Just dive back in with baby steps.

Advanced Headache Therapy

Lawrence Robbins  M.D.

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