Dizziness During Exercise: How to Avoid It

You may be experiencing dizziness while working out. In this article, we'll explain the possible causes.
Dizziness During Exercise: How to Avoid It

Last update: 27 November, 2018

Many athletes suffer from dizziness while working out. In most cases, it’s not particularly significant. However, it can sometimes be related to more serious problems. In this article, we’ll explain why it happens and how to avoid it.

Performing regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay in shape and burn calories. Nevertheless, the body can sometimes react in an unexpected way, which may take the form of dizziness or nausea that makes it impossible to continue the workout. If this occurs regularly, you may need to visit a doctor to find out if it’s due to a medical problem. A specific treatment may be required.

Dizziness during exercise is usually due to preventable errors. Knowing the causes and how to avoid them are the best ways of ensuring they don’t recur. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to avoid suffering from dizziness and having your exercise routine disrupted.

Why does dizziness occur during exercise?

Feeling dizzy during your workout is often the result of not eating enough, not breathing properly, or dehydration. In any event, it should always be investigated by a medical professional. In fact, it can be a sign of a more serious problem. Let’s take a look at why you may be feeling dizzy during your routine.

1. Not eating enough

The body uses sugar (in the form of glucose) to power the majority of its functions. If you’re not getting enough nutrients, the body won’t have the glucose it needs to perform the exercise correctly. As such, we recommend eating at least two hours before doing exercise in order to avoid a drop in your blood sugar.

Woman eating an apple

You can counteract dizziness stemming from low blood sugar by having fruit juice or eating foods with a high sugar content.

2. Dehydration

Improper hydration before or after your workout can result in the body not having enough liquids, which hinders its optimal function. Dehydration causes dizziness, headaches, and a dry mouth. Drinking before, during and after exercise will help you avoid dehydration episodes.

However, you need to avoid drinking too much, as overhydration can also lead to problems. In addition, we recommend drinking beverages with water, or sports drinks with electrolytes after exercise to help your body absorb the liquids more efficiently.

3. Inadequate breathing

Shallow or overly rapid breathing can cause dizzy spells and a feeling of weakness. If you notice that you’re breathing too quickly, lower the intensity level of your workout, or stop to rest. Also, keep in mind that different activities require different breathing techniques. For this reason, we advise consulting with a trainer for recommendations regarding the right techniques for you.

4. Medical problems

In more serious cases, dizziness can be the result of medical problems. Heart diseases and inner ear problems are some of the common conditions that can lead to feeling dizzy. If the episodes don’t stop after self-treatment, visit a doctor in order to get a proper diagnosis.

Doctors and patient

5. Improper exercise technique

Finally, dizziness can also be due to improper exercise technique. This usually occurs in people who are new to working out and overexert themselves as a result. In addition to feeling dizzy, they are also vulnerable to injury. For these reasons, it’s important to start slowly and increase your pace gradually.

We would also like to remind you that if you experience dizziness during your workout, you need to stop the activity and rest. In certain cases, walking it off, sitting down, or drinking some water will be enough to help you recover.

While dizziness and nausea may be an occasional occurrence, these episodes aren’t supposed to be that frequent. If they happen often, it might be a sign of illnesses such as hypoglycemia or hypertension, or an issue with your equilibrium. So if the sensation persists for more than an hour, it’s time to visit a doctor and get checked out.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.