08 July, 2011
How to Heal a Headache While Lifting Weights
Lifting weights can increase muscle mass, support bone density and provide a number of other benefits important to the maintenance of good health. Unfortunately, some individuals can develop a headache while lifting weights -- often as a result of dehydration and elevated blood pressure levels. Individuals who wish to heal a headache while lifting weights should consider drinking plenty of water, breathing properly getting some fresh aid and performing neck stretches. While these techniques are often successful in the management of head pain, results are not guaranteed.
Drink at least eight ounces of fluid for every thirty minutes of exercise to maintain hydration and heal painful headaches. According to the American Council on Exercise, dehydration is a common cause behind the development of headaches, not only while lifting weights, but during any activity. Your body requires specific amounts of fluid, and as these fluids are lost -- such as during the sweating associated with lifting weights -- dehydration can begin to kick in. When this happens, your body is attempting to provide a physical cue for you to drink more water, thus increasing hydration back to proper levels.
Breath properly while participating in a strength training routine. The ACE Personal Trainer Manual reports that failing to breath properly while lifting weights can increase blood pressure to a substantial level, often leading to the development of painful headaches. And though lifting weights can have a number of important benefits on your body, when performed incorrectly, the risks are quite serious. To manage this occurrence, be sure to exhale while lifting the weight -- otherwise known as the muscular contraction portion of the exercise -- and inhale as it is lowered.
Get some fresh air. In many cases, gyms and workout rooms are filled with people who are sweating heavily -- so it should come as no surprise that odors can start to build up. For those who have an exceptionally sensitive tolerance to fragrances, this can result in the development of a headache. In many cases, stepping outside to get a quick breath of fresh aid will be all that it takes to relieve the pain associated with a headache.
Perform neck stretches. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that those who suffer from mild to moderate headaches may experience some relief by performing light neck stretches. To stretch your neck, sit or stand as straight as possible and slowly lower your right ear to your right shoulder. Hold the pose for ten to 15 seconds and perform again, this time lowering your left ear to your left shoulder. Again repeat the exercise, but this time drop your chin towards your chest, then raise your face towards the sky. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds in each position.
Consider neck massage. A neck massage may be performed by another person or using a handheld device. Rolling a tennis ball against your neck, for example, can help to alleviate the pain associated with a headache.
Those who do not experience relief from the pain of a headache should consult with a qualified health-care provider.
- Medline Plus: Headache
- American Council on Exercise: ACE Personal Trainer Manual
- American College of Sports Medicine; ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription
- Those who do not experience relief from the pain of a headache should consult with a qualified health-care provider.
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images