This article is interesting… hilarious and insulting as well.
I have always exercised. Through 4 pregnancies, when I was a young adult, and I still do now. I’ve never felt one endorphin (not one), but I cannot argue with the fact that exercise builds muscle, tones every part of the body, and muscle helps burn unwanted fat. Exercise is good for you.
There were times in my depression hells where I pushed at exercising very hard… trying like mad to curb a chemical brain problem with “endorphins” that never showed up. Zoloft, not exercising, saved my life. Hats off to people that experience endorphins, I only experienced sweat and fatigue. Lol. And eventual muscle mass.
I was settled into a decent exercise routine in ~2007. I’d workout on the “dreadmill” to about 3 songs, varying tempo, my step pattern, difficulty. Then I’d do several sets of free weights for upper body. I always worked out in the morning, before the kids got up, before going to work. I’m not a morning person, but getting exercise out of the way has been the only way I can stay consistent. I’ve tried gym memberships, different classes, etc. Morning… 30 minutes… 5 days a week… that’s how I roll.
By 2011 I began to notice severe changes. I just could NOT get up and exercise. In fact, I could barely GET UP. I was walking around like a zombie until noon at my job. I had had a terrible case of Shingles and was recovering, but noticed a scary side effect to Gabepentin in my recovery. My legs were twice size of normal with edema and I was having trouble breathing on the treadmill. Yikes. I went off the Gabepentin and used a diuretic and recovered. Gabepentin is now listed as one of my drug allergies.
But the exercising… 4 out of 5 days it was absolutely impossible. I had NO energy at all… I could barely function to get in a shower, much less a workout. It was bizarre. It was confounding. What was happening?
When I did exercise, it was often with a migraine or it triggered a migraine. My world was spinning out of control.
Fast forward to 2019… I’m able to exercise 4 out of 7 mornings a week. But cardio is no longer an option. It literally feels like it is killing me and I have to focus on physically being able to do laundry and make dinner, instead of stepping or walking the dog or moving on the treadmill. Now, I do yoga (I’ve been doing yoga for 20 years, I’m just no longer able to attend classes). I work a yoga pilates routine for about 20 minutes. Then I do about 15 min free weights for my upper body.
This change in exercise shows. My weight is 20 lbs higher than it was in 2008. Sometimes after my yoga routine, all I can do is crawl back into bed as I’m utterly incapable of moving. Sometimes I can’t possibly do the exercise routine. Not an option; cannot move.
That’s why reading these articles hurts. I don’t think these articles are written for Chronics. If they are, the authors have no concept of physical limitations of Chronic Migraine. I think instead, they are written for episodics/Normals. If I could still be jumping and dancing to zumba, I would! No hesitations! But I cannot. I absolutely am no longer able. And that fills me with guilt and sadness. And I’m sorry I ever saw this article. 😰
A good rule of thumb: Don’t exercise if you’re in the middle of a migraine, as it can make the pain worse, Dr. Kriegler says. When you’re pain-free, on the other hand, exercising can help ward off migraines by relieving stress, a common migraine trigger. Exercise also stimulates the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins and enkephalins, “our body’s natural painkillers and natural antidepressants,” respectively, says Daniel V. Gaz, a physical activity and assessment program manager at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.