It’s not unusual to have a headache after you exercise. You might feel the pain on one side of your head or experience throbbing pain across your entire head. Several things can cause this to happen. In most cases, it’s something simple that’s easy to fix.
When you exert yourself, your body needs more blood and oxygen. Scientists believe an exertional headache occurs when an activity causes veins and arteries to expand to allow more blood flow. That expansion and increased blood pressure create pressure in the skull, which causes the pain.
You can try different strategies to lower the chances of exercise induced headaches. For example:
- Drink plenty of water so you are well-hydrated.
- Get enough rest every day, including eight hours of sleep.
- Warm up and cool down properly
- Eat a healthy diet
Exertion headaches involve pain during or immediately after physical activity. They come on quickly and go away in a few minutes or hours, perhaps as long as a couple of days. There’s usually no underlying disease or disorder, but if they persist, you should talk to a healthcare provider to rule out any problems.