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TOPIC: Why do I get headaches after walking?

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March 26, 2013 7:16 AM
I'm Janet. I'm 53 years old, 5'9", 250lbs.

I try to walk at least 30 minutes a day - usually in my lunchtimes at work. I then do another 30 minutes walking the dog when I get home from work.

However, towards the end of my walk (both walks) a headache starts developing. It's a real humdinger of a headache too. Not too much of a problem at home where I can relax but I have real problems trying to work (at a computer) in the afternoons.

It's not dehydration. I thought of that and I make sure that I drink plenty of water (although I'm not so good at logging that!)

Is this something I should see my GP about?

All suggestions welcome! (except head amputation! laugh )
March 26, 2013 7:42 AM

Please ... I really need help with this?
March 26, 2013 7:45 AM
What is your blood pressure like?
March 26, 2013 7:46 AM
Are you sure you're hydrated enough? I feel light headed and get a headache when I need more water. Or I have to eat a hard boiled egg or some meat for protein. Try one those maybe??
Edited by AHealthyMe1lbAtATime On March 26, 2013 7:46 AM
March 26, 2013 7:49 AM
March 26, 2013 7:50 AM
DEfinitely see a doctor. Some thoughts to ponder though; how is your posture while walking? Are you inadvertently shrugging your shoulders, or being tense? Are you carrying a backpack/purse that could be giving you tension? Is your walking form good? Besides water, are you drinking/eating something that'll return the salts lost from sweating? If not, I'd try that.

How fast are you walking? Are you breathing properly (ie, not holding your breath or huffing/puffing really hard?)

Any major changes in diet recently?

Edit: just saw your Type 2 diabetic. If walking is something new for you, are you monitoring your blood sugar? Perhaps you're feeling a drop in sugars and need to eat something.
Edited by lawtechie On March 26, 2013 7:51 AM
March 26, 2013 7:50 AM
Could it be from some part of your routine? As in, do you wear a hat when you walk? Some sunglasses? Earbuds? Maybe something isn't fitting well?

Hay fever? Other allergy?

Another guess is something to do with eye strain: going from computer->bright outdoors->computer.
March 26, 2013 7:51 AM
I would suggest testing your blood sugar before and after walking. You could be running low. You may need to eat something (protein) before and again after walking.
March 26, 2013 7:56 AM
If you question your physical health, always check with a physician before starting an exercise program....

It could be a nutrirional issue, or it could be poor posture/ bad shoes.

Make suer you are getting enough calories (I didn't look at your diary, but 1200 is likely not enough for a 5'9" women), it is very common for people to cut too much out of their intake leading to lethargy, dizziness and headaches. If that is not the case...

Check your shoes, everything is connected. If your shoes are older or not very supportive, I'd look at replacing them. Go to a specialty running store, they fit walkers too :), and get fitting by some one who knows a little more about the different shoes. Try them on and choose one you feel best in. Don't be surprised if you go up a half size over your standard shoe size, pretty typical. If the problem persists, and your nutrition is good, definitely check with a doc.
March 26, 2013 7:59 AM
As you're diabetic, checking this out with you doctor is the first step.

I'd also add, it's bloody cold out there at the moment! Just stepping outside gives me a headache some days in this weather! Cold air is a particular trigger for a sinus headache. Could that be it? More information here:
March 26, 2013 7:59 AM
Go to the doctor.
March 26, 2013 8:04 AM
My guess would be blood pressure, too. When I first started walking and biking again, I would have a LOT of headaches. I never did actually go to the doctor about it, but I can tell you that now I don't have that problem anymore! smile As long as you can bear it, keep it up - it will get better!
March 26, 2013 8:08 AM
Thank you all so much for your input - I'm definitely drinking enough but mostly water so might try a fruit juice when I get back instead.
I don't think it's anything I wear - my hat is very loose fitting, no ear buds (keep forgetting to bring my headphones to work!), no sunglasses (no sun out yet).
I don't sweat much - it's not a power walk, just 3-3.5mph - so shouldn't be lost salt.
Sugar's shouldn't be a problem. Not on insulin so no danger of hypo. I eat my lunch about 15 mins before going out. I might keep some nuts or seeds from my mid-morning snack to eat when I get back.
Good idea with the eye strain, frood, I'll check that one out. Maybe switch my screen off for 10 minutes before I go out to let my eyes adjust.
I'll keep all your suggestions in mind when I walk tomorrow to see if I can spot a problem now that you've given me some ideas of what it might be.
I think I'll make an appointment with the doctor anyway to get it checked out and make sure.
Many, many thanks again.
BTW, blood pressure has always been spot on. Lots of other problems but good blood pressure. Everyone's got something right with them haven't they?
Edited by LaserMum On March 26, 2013 8:12 AM
March 26, 2013 8:17 AM
Cute doggy!

I was thinking do you drink enough before your walk too - I find if I do exercise I have to be hydrated before I go - I always have squash in my water at teh gym, once you get thirsty you are already de-hydrated, so do not get thirsty.

Are you new to exercise too? That can take a while for your body to process the fact you are now actually working.... You are doing very well, keep it up and I hope you find a good answer to your headaches. xx
March 26, 2013 8:42 AM
I wouldn't recommend a fruit juice, they aren't any better for toy then a bag of skittles. I would recommend a whey protein shake. Your headache is probably from toxins in your fat being burned. Make sure you are monitoring your blood pressure and sugars properly, you could add some green tea (make sure it's herbal) and flush your system. If it persists see your doctor. Dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea be concerned.
March 26, 2013 11:54 AM
This might be a weird question...but do you walk with your heel striking the ground? Try walking on the treadmill, that's slightly lower impact.


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