My father was over for the holidays and suffered an excruciating migraine headache. I offered him an Advil, but he prefers not to take any sort of medication. Rather, he finds that cardio usually offer him a cure. Cardio exercises increases the blood flow to the brain, reducing the pain associated with migraines. Since he is recuperating from an achilles injury, he wasn’t able to to run it out (his preferred method). So I took out the gloves and mitts, and sure enough it did the trick. I’m definitely making a mental note of this, and will opt for the heavy bag over the medicine cabinet the next time I get a headache.
If this intrigues you, check out SPARK, by Dr. John J. Ratey, which explores the connection between exercise and the brain’s performance that shows how even moderate exercise will supercharge mental circuits to beat stress, sharpen thinking, enhance memory, and much more.