Regular exercise isn’t just great for the body. It’s one of the best things that anyone can do to optimize their neurological health. Several studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise can help make migraines come less often and make them less severe. When one exercises, endorphins are released, which are the body’s natural painkillers. This helps reduce the severity of the pain associated with migraines. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. It helps to reduce tension in the muscles, in the shoulders, neck and scalp. It helps reduce the increased sympathetic activation associated with stress, decreasing the fight or flight survival mechanism, including bringing down heart rate and blood pressure. Stress is a significant trigger for migraines. Exercise also helps to regulate sleep patterns, improving sleep hygiene and quality of sleep. During sleep, the brain and body restores itself heals from injury and removes toxins that have built up throughout the day. Inadequate sleep is a migraine trigger. So what kind of exercise should migrainers participate in? It seems to be that regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent migraines. Those exercises that get the heart rate up, the blood pumping and get people breathing. These can include walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing a sport, or even dancing. I tell people all the time, if you love dancing, find a way to dance three to four times per week for 30 minutes at a time. But a warning: encourage people with migraines to warm up slowly because sudden intense exercise can cause headaches.