The Vestibular Migraine Community

Who here is exercising with MAV?


#1

How many of us here can honestly say that we put forth a good exercise program. After reading a ton about exercise and its effects. I gotta bring this to the table.

It is proven that exercise:

  1. Is outstanding for your blood circulation and the microcirculation around inner ears.

  2. Can be a nice VRT compliment.

  3. Raises the brain chemicals (seratonin, dopamine etc.)

  4. Great for controlling your blood pressure.

  5. Wonderful for your nervous system.

  6. Increases energy and stamina.

  7. Keeps the immune system in check.

  8. Keeps stress and anxiety at bay.

  9. And most importantly for us, it can work as a wonderful migraine preventative.

and I’m sure there’s more.

Sounds like a wonderful thing for all of us here don’t it?

To get all those effects, you have to be consistant with it weekly.

After reading those reasons of what exercise has proven to do, Why aren’t we all just jumping for joy as this could be the main answer for us to get rid of the dizzi’s?

Now I am defiantaly guilty of not exercising as much as I should. Not even close. Partly because jogging and other cardiovascular exercises can make migraine worse at first especially if you’re overdoing it. Time is another reason. And definatley not easy to do while dizzy all the time.

I just really want to know if anyone here is a constant exercise fanatic and does and has exercised weekly for months on end while having MAV. Has it helped, made things worse, are you dizzy free. Let us know. I have yet to be really consistant with exercise so I don’t know.

I did find someone in the success story’s by the name of Stargrave that got rid of there dizziness completeley just from doing the eliptical. But he stated that it was the consistancy and that particular machine is what got him dizzy free. Got me thinking. Do we all just need to give an honest go at consistant exercise in our daily lives? I see some of us here including myself who give it a go for a few weeks or a few months and then give it up and come back to it months later or whatever.

Most of the dr.'s i’ve seen for this MAV shit has all told me to add in some cardio for this stuff. There must be something to it, maybe more than we give it credit for.

Thoughts please.

Greg


#2

I’m exactly like you Greg, I go to the gym regularly for weeks and weeks if not months on end and feel great. Then I get a MAV crash and it all goes to pot and I feel too ill to go.

It’s really hard finding the right moment to go back. It’s certainly not today!

Dizzy Lizzy


#3

Liz,

that’s exactly the way it seems here, I do good and feel good for a bit, then as soon as a setback comes in play, I give it up only to try it again months later. I wonder if, we just fought through the setbacks and kept going for months, I don’t mean 2 or 3 months, I mean like 10 months or longer, would we finally see the light and would things start really changing for us rather than just a few moments of good feelings then a crash. Would the crashes be more tolerable over time? Basically instead of a big bad crash, just a little crash that’s more tolerable and recoverable within a day or two rather than weeks.

The big question is, are we giving up on consistant exercise too often. It may work wonders in the long run of consistancy.

Greg


#4

For me it’s about pushing through that barrier when I feel that if I do anymore I’m going to be in trouble. I never quite know when I should stop and when I should push on. I always stop when I feel near the edge. I’m almost too scared to continue at that point. Maybe that’s my mistake. So is it about gentle consistency at a comfortable level or about pushing on beyond your comfort zone? And what sort of exercise are we talking about? Is walking included?

Brenda


#5

Brenda,

I’m thinking more along the lines of a consistant jog or fast paced walking. Basically getting your heart rate up to a point where you’re working up a sweat. If I’m thinking correctly, if you want the brain chemicals to be effected in a positive way, you have to be doing a bit more than just walking. Although there are plenty of benefits proven in walking daily, but there are even more benefits from jogging.

The member stargrave that’s in the success stories used the eliptical and believes that the eliptical is what got him to beat the dizziness. however, he did say it took months for him to start noticing any improvement. He said that it wasn’t an immediate fix and there were a lot of days when he would get really dizzy from the exercise but he kept on and got over his constant daily battle with dizziness. Some days he mentions that he woke up dizzy free and the eliptical would bring the dizzy’s back, but he never quite and eventually was out of the dizzy slump. I don’t think he was taking any meds either for MAV.

The key here I think might be time and consistancy with exercise and obviously diet. Of course there are many out there who have gotten better with meds alone, but if most of you are like me, I would like to be on no meds and this course of treatment means a lot of work and dedication, and if it’s a pretty good shot at beating this, then why not? Hell this with a combination of meds may really do the trick.

But what it sounds like is that a med can only take you so far and exercise consistancy can finish the job over a period of time.

The problem I think most of us have is that as soon as we start exercising, we get blasted by MAV and quit. What if we really fought through it and stuck it out for a while and made it a point to exercise most day’s of the week. I believe exercise does trigger MAV and probably will keep triggering it for a while until the body and brain gets more used to it over the months, then maybe, just maybe we would start turning a corner and MAV could just go right to remission. I think if we were all gauranteed that kind of success, we’d all be buying gym memberships right now and fighting through the setbacks to get to that point.

Greg


#6

Thanks for your thoughts Greg. I actually have an elyptical trainer and it was with my experiences on that in mind that I wrote what I did. I do find the movement on it extremely dizzy - making as your horizon is constantly going up and down.
I mentioned walking because I naturally power walk! No-one can ever keep up with me, and in the village we previously lived in one man I used to pass every morning on my daily walk used to say to me “Off on your power walk again!” So I think maybe it might qualify as appropriate exercise for MAV. :smiley:

I’m really interested in all you’ve had to say both about exercise and consistency because I don’t take meds ( tried loads but felt worse on them all) and have had success with lifestyle and diet changes but I feel that if I could just be consistent at going to bed earlier and at a regular time, likewise with getting up, AND get into a proper exercise regime I might see further improvements. It’s just DOING IT that’s the problem! And believing that all that effort and going against the grain (I’m not a natural early to bed girl) will pay off.

But you’ve made me think. Thanks.

Brenda


#7

Brenda,

I wonder if the more dizzy you are during exercise, the more used to it you’ll get and eventually get over it? Or if it makes you more dizzy, should you stay away from that exercise. I’m seriously considering going all elliptical for a while and see how it goes. There was a point back in March when I was doing the elliptical for about 15 minutes a day. Needless to say I had a hard time on it at first. Was constantly holding on to the handles, then after a few weeks, I could do it without holding on to the handles and it got easier to do. My balance became better on the elliptical only. The balance in my daily life didn’t change a whole lot that I can remember. I could’ve been on the right track but quit for whatever reason.

Greg


#8

It would be interesting to give it a trial wouldn’t it? When our visitors have left in a couple of weeks and I have room to get out the elliptical trainer again, I’ll give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Brenda


#9

My biggest problem when exercising is feeling “foggy” and I guess that is dizzy, feels like Im disconnected from my body, very surreal. That by far is far worse than being “dizzy”. It doesnt happen every time but if Im doing it for a while, say running etc. for more than 30 minutes. I was getting consistent and kept going to the gym regardless of how bad I felt because I figured it has to help eventually. I was a hardcore working out freak before I got pregnant with my daughter who I had in April. I did spinning classes, weight classes, ran etc. Then I got pregnant, slowed down because of that and being in school full time then had her and got hit with this. I was going about 2-3times per week before my latest “big crash” the day before the crash I went to the gym ,felt nauseated on the treadmill so I just walked well the next day I had full blown spins, heavy head, rocking etc. I have since been put on a different medicine that has helped me a lot more, so I want to go back, but Im scared of another huge set back that I can not afford to have with my young children.Also, it never fails, my ear is always full after I leave the gym it sucks! Im not sure if its because of the headphone I wear or just my vestibular system taking a hit from the running etc. I think the elliptical is much easier on the body while still burning calories, but I just feel better when I run.


#10

Maybe go back but be gentler on yourself rebecca. It’s a shame not to do anything at all if you enjoy it but take it easy til you feel better and more confident that it won’t leave you worse off. Life is hard enough as it is for you with MAV and having young kids. I remember that time only too well. As for headphones - they make my MAV ramp up something awful. Can’t be doing with them at all, not in any form. Not music related, phone related or anything. I avoid them like the plague.It’s all a balancing act isn’t it, judging where to draw the line - where a potentially beneficial thing goes sour on us and when to call it a day.

Brenda


#11

Thank you Brenda, I think I will do that. Taking it easier is hard, but I have to keep reminding myself I am not yet “normal” even though sometimes I just want to forget this thing and go on with life and what I used to do/enjoy. Good to know about the headphone. I use a Bluetooth in my right ear(good ear) and it is ok but my left ear is always full after I workout, and I use headphones in both ears of course. I think I may go back and try the elliptical or walking then gradually increase to jogging. I also have a problem with sit up since this hit, my neck always aches the next day!


#12

for me, the worse I feel, the more I push myself out the door to the gym. It has never failed to make me feel better - of course on the crappy days I don’t go 110%, but I do still try to push myself 60-80% of full throttle. I always feel better afterwards and that normally lasts through the day. I’ve been gyming it 5-7 days per week for over a year now (started exercising seriously when I got the MAV diagnosis and started researching). I don’t go for hours - sometimes it’s just 20-30 mins of cardio, but I try and go almost every day. IN fact on the days I don’t go I invariably don’t feel as good - of course this could be psychosomatic :lol: But on my behalf I will say I’m a fundamentally lazy person. I don’t like to sweat. I’m built for comfort not speed and would rather sit on my arse than move it. But I do move it. I’ve also invested in a trainer and he really pushes me sometimes but I’ve never had a lasting backlash from it - although I refuse to do jumping exercises as they set me right off.

so for me at least regular moderate - hard exercise has really helped - but it took a few months at least to get there, and almost a year to make it a habit.


#13

Right now I’m trying the elliptical and some jogging every other day. The day after I run, I’m usually a little gassed and out of it the next day. So I’ll have a day to recover a bit, then I’ll run again the following day. Every other day may help me stay with it rather than jogging every day. What do you guys think of that plan?

Greg


#14

Hi Greg,
I’ve been quite fortunate in retrospect, in that throughout the 3 years that I’ve had this (24/7 dizziness type) MAV, I’ve generally been able to somehow keep some kind of exercise regime going. There’s been a few times where I had to stop, and thought I’d need help getting back to work from the gym (we are lucky enough to have a decent gym just over the road from where we work), but generally I’ve managed OK (although we only get time for a 50 minute session). What basically made me keep going was that I used to find the 24/7 dizziness would be significantly reduced in severity after a gym session, and that this seemed to be related to the amount of cardio work, because I also play football/soccer for an hour once a week, and this was a more intense cardio workout, and I would notice the dizziness would be more subdued and for longer after the football. Typically, the dizziness would be reduced in severity (like a sedating type effect on the brain) for anything from 1 - 3 hours or thereabouts, and then the dizziness would gradually return.

What I can’t figure out, is that lately (last 6 months or so…?) this ‘subdued dizziness’ benefit seems to have reduced and isn’t as noticeable, but then again I’m starting to have some success with Topamax, so perhaps I’m generally better than I was and so wouldn’t notice it (if that makes sense!?).

My typical week is gym 2 or 3 times (50 mins total, but only 15 - 20 mins cardio, because I do stretches, abs, light weights, etc) , badminton and football for an hour each (for ‘VRT’ in terms of tracking the moving shuttlecock and football).
Tony.


#15

Tony,

So you’re basically pretty active all the time. How bad would you say your dizziness is on normal day? Not after exercise or during exercise, just baseline. Do you think you’d be worse off if you hadn’t been active?

Greg


#16

— Begin quote from “beatles909”

Tony,
So you’re basically pretty active all the time. How bad would you say your dizziness is on normal day? Not after exercise or during exercise, just baseline. Do you think you’d be worse off if you hadn’t been active?
Greg

— End quote

Hi Greg,
the dizziness is still enough to be intrusive, but not bad enough generally to stop me doing most things. I still feel ‘off’ most of the time, but the false movement or sense of motion and inbalance and dizziness is not as severe as it used to be, and I don’t very often have my ‘attempted mini-spin attacks’ any more (or brain-zaps as others, like Muppo, might call them). I can work, using the computer 9 - 5, and I don’t struggle anywhere near as much as I used to (I’ve always managed to keep working throughout the 3 years I’ve had this, luckily). I guess on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the most severe, I would put my dizziness at around a 3/4 at the moment. The Topamax seems to have helped, and even though I tried to just exercise-and-diet my way through this, it was only really through the use of meds, unfortunately, that things really seemed to pick up and improve (Pizotifen was great, and now Topamax).

I do think that maintaining the exercise was helping me, in the 20 months or so before I started trying meds. I can vividly remember the calming effect it had on my system, regular as clockwork, after every exercise session - I just wish it had a longer lasting effect - I was always gutted when its ‘magic’ started to wear off and the dizziness returned…
TOny.


#17

Anyone else who exercises and sees benefits from it. Share your experiences.

I go for a run and feel great afterwards. Either due to the serotonin or dopamine. Usually the next day is also very good. I found running the only thing to clear me up when i feel heavy headed and foggy. Sometimes my head feels like a snow globe and very motion sensitive and a good run usually clears me up.

Also i can really use the exercise as the Amitriptyline makes you pile on pounds even while eating the same. But at the same time the “feeling off” can really zap all of your enthusiasm to exercise. Would love to hear how others sneak in exercise in the midst of this annoying condition.