Headache is a very common condition. According to WHO, half to 3/4th of the adult population was affected by a headache at least once in the last year. It’s better to prevent headaches rather than going through the pain when the headache strikes. Every headache is different but common primary headaches like migraine and tension headache can be prevented by avoiding the headache triggers. Few lifestyle modifications can help in preventing headache episodes or at least their frequency of occurrence.
- Exercise regularly-30 minutes of aerobic activity per day in form of walking, cycling, or swimming is good for keeping headaches at bay. Do not do rigorous exercises.
- Doing neck and shoulder stretches are important to reduce the tightness of neck and shoulder muscles, which leads to tension headaches (Read the previous post on 8 tips for Tension headache). Eye exercises to reduce digital eye strain is also crucial in today’s time when everyone is spending so much time on screen (Read the post on 6 Eye exercises to reduce digital eye strain).
- Maintain good hydration levels– Dehydration is a very common trigger of headaches that often goes unnoticed. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Sleep well for 7-8 hours. Try to establish and maintain a consistent sleep/wake schedule so that your body gets used to going to bed and waking up at the same time. It is helpful.
- Avoid environmental triggers like loud sounds, too much bright light, and overpowering smells.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet at regular times. Eat healthy snacks between meals and avoid skipping meals altogether.
- If you are experiencing a headache while menopausing or in premenopausal phase, seek treatment for varying hormone levels which can be a trigger for migraine.
- Relaxation techniques like progressive muscular relaxation is helpful for stress relief. In this technique, one muscle group is tightened consciously by contracting that muscle followed by a relaxation phase with the release of the tension. This can be done for all the major muscle groups in your body, beginning with the muscles in your feet and moving upward all the way to your head. For example, clench your fist, feel the tension, and then open the fist and relax the hand muscles.
- Meditation and deep breathing exercises-Deep, rhythmic breathing focusing on full expansion of the chest followed by slow long exhalation helps in relaxation.
- Maintaining a good posture of the head, neck, and shoulders is necessary to reduce stress in the muscles. Poor posture can strain your head, neck, and shoulder muscles, leading to a headache.
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