She shall, from time to time, be the recipient of an exercise induced headache. – (from the docterine of my exercise constitution)
I admit it: I occasionally get headaches after I work out. I first noticed this after my first half-marathon. About an hour after I finished, my head was throbbing, and I was barely able to think straight. I inserted food into my mouth (to this day, I remember that meal–an entire package of tortellini. I was ridiculously hungry) and went directly to bed. It was about noon on Superbowl Sunday.
The headache happened again after a 10k in which I set a personal record, and again after the marathon. Interestingly enough, my hypochondria never kicked in, and I’ve never thought I had anything wrong with me. I just sort of assumed that this was how my body operated, and I haven’t paid much mind to headaches.
But then I took up soccer last year. I’ve noticed that, every so often, I am prone to pain in my noggin after a game. This happened again last night, after a particularly strenuous game, and I mentioned my headache to Ken as we walked out.
“I only seem to get these with anaerobic exercise,” I mused.
“Well, probably because your brain likes oxygen,” he replied.
That sounded like a pretty astute observation, but since I know how much people like reliable sources, I typed “Exercise Headache” into Google, and found this advice regarding the headaches on DailySpark.com:
Make sure you balance your breathing during your anaerobic workouts – Anaerobic exercise focuses on short, high intensity activity that causes the body’s demand for oxygen to exceed the supply available. This can be a trigger to someone that is prone to exertion headaches if they do too much too fast and don’t breathe appropriately while they are doing it. Make sure that you are breathing in your nose and out your throat/mouth as you participate in an anaerobic workout. Make sure you inhale slowly and deeply, hold for a few seconds and then slowly exhale while you are in an interval rest period. This can minimize the rate at which the blood vessels in the brain contract and dilate. *
Ken was on it like right foot on red. Apparently people like me need to make sure to be sucking in enough air during hard-core soccering.
New goal: more breathing.
We’ll see how it goes tonight.