American Migraine Foundation mentions that stress can be a trigger of a migraine attack in almost 70% of sufferers. A heavy exercise at an inappropriate time can act as a stressor, while regular moderate exercise can act as a stress reliever (Migrainetrust).
Below are conclusions of 2 recent reviews of studies.
The association between migraine and physical exercise (The Journal of Headache and Pain, 2018):
In conclusion, it seems that although exercise can trigger migraine
attacks, regular exercise may have prophylactic effect on migraine
frequency. This is most likely due to an altered migraine triggering
threshold in persons who exercise regularly.
Physical exercise and migraine: for or against? (Annals of Translational Medicine, 2018):
Literature-based recommendations on physical activity and migraine:
- Regular moderate aerobic physical exercise (>40 min, 3 times per week) seems effective to reduce both severity and frequency of
- Since exercising may sometimes worsen migraine, be engaged in physical exercise during a migraine attack must be established on an
individual basis, according to the personal history of
- High-intensity exercise should be avoided in patients with a history of exercise-provoked migraine.