Headaches After Exercising: What Causes It and How to Overcome It

Headaches After Exercising: What Causes It and How to Overcome It

Headache After Exercising

Some of Hermina's Friends must have experienced headaches after exercising. According to the National Headache Foundation, strenuous exercise such as running can cause headaches during activity. Even though exercise headaches have an unusual feeling like migraines or stress headaches, post-exercise headaches are sometimes painful characterized by throbbing pain on both sides of the head, which can go away in a few minutes, but can also last up to several days.


Types and Causes of Headaches After Exercise

The National Headache Foundation says that there are no serious causes of exercise headaches, but advises anyone who experiences a post-exercise headache to check with a health care provider to treat it.


But before going deeper into the causes of headaches, we better know the various types of headaches during or after exercise first. Based on the cause of headaches are divided into two types, namely:

  • Primary headache

Primary headaches can occur when a person exercises or does strenuous physical activity. This is thought to be because the muscles of the head, scalp and neck require more blood supply during exercise.

This increased demand dilates the blood vessels in the head, increasing pressure in the head and causing pain. Primary headaches usually occur in people who exercise at a high intensity and have a history of migraines.

  • Secondary headaches

Headaches during exercise can also be caused by other underlying health problems besides the sport itself. Conditions that can cause headaches include tumors, stroke, and sinusitis.

Secondary headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting, loss of consciousness, diplopia, and neck stiffness. If you experience any of these symptoms and you develop a headache after exercising, seek medical attention immediately, as the condition requires treatment.


Other Causes of Headaches After Exercising and How to Overcome Them

Quoted from the halodoc website page (dr. Fadhli Rizal Makarim, 2021) there are several possible causes of headaches, namely

1. Difficulty Taking a Breath

When exercising, muscles consume a lot of oxygen. Breathing and heart rate increase so that more oxygenated blood flows to the muscles. If you have difficulty taking a breath or are short of breath during or after exercise, it means that your heart is not pumping enough oxygenated blood to your brain.

Dizziness can occur whenever the brain is deprived of oxygen. To fix this, immediately stop the exercise you are doing and sit on the floor. Take three deep breaths and exhale slowly. Continue for three to five minutes before slowly standing up.

2. Too Pushing Yourself

Exercising too hard or doing very strenuous exercise can cause your blood pressure to drop or lead to dehydration. This can make you feel dizzy or faint.

If you're feeling dizzy after a workout, take a minute to calm down, catch your breath, and slow your heart rate. Drink as much water as possible to rehydrate depleted muscles.

3. Experiencing Dehydration

Dehydration occurs whenever you lose more water than you take in. When exercising, body temperature increases. The body sweats to cool itself.

That's when the body loses a lot of water, especially during hot weather. Apart from dizziness, you may experience dry mouth, thirst, and fatigue. To overcome this, of course you have to drink lots of water. Make sure you bring plenty of water during exercise and don't get thirsty.

4. Low Blood Sugar

During exercise, muscles consume more energy than usual. During the first 15 minutes of exercise, the body draws sugar circulating in the bloodstream and muscles to support the body. Once they run out, blood sugar drops. The body utilizes glucose reserves from the liver.

Please note, the brain relies on glucose to function normally. When the brain lacks glucose, the body feels dizzy. Symptoms include sweating, shaking, confusion, headache and fatigue. This condition will be easily overcome by consuming healthy snacks such as bananas and fruit juices.

5. Low Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is usually at its lowest about 30 to 60 minutes after exercising. Some people experience a more rapid drop in blood pressure. This can happen during any type of exercise, but is worse after strenuous exercise.


When exercising, the heart and muscles work excessively. The heart keeps the blood pumping, so the muscles can get the oxygen they need. When you suddenly stop exercising, your heart and muscles return to their normal pace.

However, this condition can take a long time to catch up with the veins. This means that oxygenated blood flows to the brain more slowly than usual. To fix this, sit down and put your head between your knees. This position helps the body carry oxygenated blood to the brain.


If a friend experiences a headache during or after exercising, immediately go to the Hermina Wonogiri Hospital so that he can be examined by a doctor so that he can receive further treatment.

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