Let’s talk about headaches. One of the main benefits of regular exercise, aside from a healthier and fitter body, is the release of a chemical called ‘endorphins’, which act as the body’s natural pain killers! The word ‘endorphin’ is an amalgamation of ‘endogenous’ (or ‘from within’) and ‘morphine’ and are produced by cells in the nervous system and other parts of the body. They can have extremely strong painkilling abilities many times stronger than man-made painkillers.
Modern life with all of its pressures and rushing around can lead to stress and anxiety in even the most placid of people. A rise in the levels of adrenalin in the body lead to a feeling of stress and anxiety which in turn can cause painful and debilitating headaches. Having access to a regular endorphins boost will allow your body to deal with stress and anxiety of daily life more easily, and will lower your chances of suffering regular anxiety-related headaches, and other common aches and pains.
Swimming is one of the most relaxing forms of low-impact exercise it is possible to do and is known to release endorphins, so is an obvious choice for an individual looking to treat their headaches without relying on over the counter medication. Another side effect of too much adrenaline in the body is fatigue. So swimming could not only provide you with an increase in your own natural painkillers, it could also make you feel refreshed and invigorated and ready to take on the day!
Bear in mind, however that there is more than one type of headache. Some people are prone to painful sinus headaches which may become worse after a session in the pool. This is due to the change in pressure which you experience when swimming under water or diving. Your sinus headache may also be due to the chemicals in the pool getting up your nose and inflaming your nasal tissues. To prevent these types of headache purchase a nose clip to stop the chemically pool water getting up your nose. Also, try not to dive into the pool too much, or spend a lot of time swimming below the water. Concentrate on a stroke (such as breast stroke) which does not require you to dip your head under water too often. Finally, do not wear a tight swimming cap or tight goggles which put pressure on your eyes.
If your headaches do not improve consult your doctor for further advice on prevention and treatment.