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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write a fitness/health/life with migraines post because I am not an expert, but I have found what works for me and it may be helpful for others.
I unfortunately get migraines, and one trigger that brings them on for me is dehydration. I bring a large water bottle with me to work everyday, as well as if I am going to be away from home for a while. If you are someone that gets migraines, you know what I am talking about. I always feel better when I am staying hydrated vs when I don’t drink very much water for the day.
Aside from water, I bring my own food to work. With migraines, certain foods can trigger migraines, so I have been told by my doctors (MSG, nitrates, etc). I have also noticed if I eat small portions through out the day I feel great. Ex: Smoothie, fruit cup, yogurt, lunch (usually chicken/veggies), fruit cup, and through out the morning 1 cup of coffee.
On the topic of staying hydrated, I notice I have a harder time drinking plain water or even water with fruit in it. I put one packet of Crystal Light in my water in the morning (usually lemon or tea flavored) and I drink so much more water. People will sometimes ask me what is in my water if its a slight pink or yellow tint (I didn’t realize it was that odd? lol). I started doing this from time to time in college before I realized I get migraines and now its a must for me.
My morning routine is to make a collagen smoothie. I love adding Vital Proteins powder because it mixes into the smoothie easily and is flavorless. I believe it is 70 calories for two scoops. I add in almond milk, frozen fruit, honey, cinnamon, and chia seeds. I have noticed a difference with my skin and nails, I am not sure about my hair but my skin was the main concern. Over all after about 4 weeks my skin started to appear to be smoother and I have less breakouts. I should note the collagen isn’t for migraine treatment benefits.
On to the workout portion. I work out about 3 times a week. I don’t do a cardio day, all days are weights alternating arms/upper body and legs/lower body. When I warm up on legs day I use a resistant band and do a few sets of squats, leg lifts, etc until the glutes feel activated. I’m probably at the gym for about 45 minutes on average which includes breaks. Sticking to weights and leaving cardio, for me, has kept me going back and not sparked more migraines.I use to run and try to run outside and I would get too hot, get a migraine, and be useless.
Outfits and music at the gym: I love wearing high waist leggings with pockets for my phone, it makes life so much easier! I typically pair a crop top with my leggings, its just much more comfortable. For my play list I use Spotify and have a mix of Christina Aguilera, Meghan Trainor, Betty Who, Spice Girls, Mariah Carey on it. You can tell what era I grew up in.
Overall living with migraines I have found that often too much of something can be a trigger whether it is exercise, heat, stress, food, a type of food (wine is an absolute no btw), not enough sleep, too much sleep, etc. Some days you just have to laugh at how ridiculously sensitive and delicate migraines makes you seem, yet on the outside you look perfectly fine… unless one is happening then it can be scary for whoever is around you if it isn’t caught in time.
I’ll just quickly touch on treatment, I know it’s different for many people with migraines, but for myself, I haven’t found a preventative that completely stops my migraines. The best so far has been Aimovig, which is a self injection once a month along with Topamax. I get about 3-5 per month currently while keeping life as balanced as possible.
If you would like to know how I navigated my journey of living with migraines from being in the emergency room Thanksgiving, newly married, not knowing what what going on with my body to now, let me know in the comments. Also, if you have migraines, I’d love to know your story and tips to share!
Until next time,