One in 25 adults experience chronic headaches. Many of those who suffer can find pain relief through exercise. Richard Lipton, a neurologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least three times per week for managing headaches. Exercise goals for women include maintaining a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute for at least 10 to 15 minutes, exercising in the morning to avoid altering your sleep schedule, and avoiding jarring exercises such as running or kickboxing which can lead to dehydration, especially for women over 50.
Yoga for Headache Relief
Yoga is noted for its soothing motions and therapeutic relief for ailments such as headaches. Yoga helps release tension and thus is a powerful natural remedy. If you have chronic headaches, consider adding yoga sessions to your weekly workout schedule. These six poses below are designed to improve circulation and reduce pain and stress:
1. Cat Pose:
Long hours of sitting in front of a desk compresses the disks along your spine. Strike Cat Pose to relieve all that tension built up in your shoulders, neck and spine. With your hands and knees on the floor in tabletop, gently round the spine up on the inhale. On the exhale, release to a neutral position or move through cow pose with your rear up and your shoulders back. After a few cycles, return to a neutral spine.
2. Eagle Pose:
The biggest relief could come from stabilizing your shoulders. Begin by slightly bending both knees and then wrap the right foot around the right ankle, while keeping the bend in your knee. Next, cross your arms in front of your torso, right over left and bend your elbows downward. Your palms should be touching. If your find difficulty balancing, modify the pose with just your upper body in a seated position.
3. Child’s Pose:
This powerful resting pose offers multiple tensions-relieving benefits. Start by kneeling, and sit back on your heels while exhaling and folding your torso over your thighs. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your body. Stay here for a two to three minutes and focus on quieting your mind.
4. Legs Up the Wall:
Reverse gravity and find the nearest wall for this restorative inversion posture. You’re welcome to use a support under your hips if needed. Exhale, and with one swift movement swing your legs up onto the wall. Hold this pose for up to two minutes.
5. Seated Spinal Twist:
This dynamic pose can stimulate many different parts of the body including the spine and the digestive system. Get into a seated position with your bottom leg either bent or straight, with the top knee bent and crossed over the other leg. Extend the opposite arm over the outside of the knee and gently twist the back. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side. Find a demonstration of these poses on any of the selections within GaiamTV‘s Stretching videos.
6. Corpse Pose:
Lay flat on the floor with your hands by your side and breathe slowly while allowing your body to rest. This restorative resting pose gives your muscles the break they need to take the healing poses of your session. Hold this pose two to three minutes.
Practicing these poses will be very beneficial exercises for women over 50. They will help to alleviate the stress and tension held in the body especially in mature women.
* Photos Credit: Getty Images
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