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Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded After Running

by
author image Rose Erickson
Rose Erickson has been a professional writer since 2010. She specializes in fitness, parenting, beauty, health, nutrition and saving money, and writes for several online publications including The Krazy Coupon Lady. She is also a novelist and a mother of three.
Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded After Running
Dizziness can develop suddenly after running. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Lightheadedness after running can be a frightening experience, especially if it occurs suddenly. A variety of factors, such as improper exercise techniques or poor nutrition, can encourage dizziness. Because lightheadedness after exercise can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious complication, it is important to understand why it occurs and how it can be treated, so consult with your doctor.

Symptoms

Dizziness after running can vary from a mild annoyance to a severe instability. It can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms, including the sensation of spinning, false motion, floating or a heavy head, or instability or loss of balance. Fainting or near fainting can occur as a result of lightheadedness. Symptoms can develop suddenly after your running routine or build gradually over time.

Causes

Overexerting yourself during your exercise routine, running without taking proper breaks between workouts or exercising at a high intensity level can cause dizziness. This is because your blood vessels dilate to support your blood flow during exercise. When you stop running, especially if it’s abruptly, your heart rate slows, which decreases your blood flow. However, your blood vessels remain expanded. This can decrease your blood pressure, resulting in dizziness. Lightheadedness can also be due to certain medical complications such as a heart condition.

Remedies

To alleviate dizziness, lie on the ground so that your head is level with your heart. This will increase the blood flow to your brain, helping you feel less dizzy.

Do not exercise too vigorously. Slow down your pace or intensity if you cannot talk comfortably during your running routine. Take a break and walk for a bit if you begin to feel dizzy, weak or out of breath.

Cool down by walking for about five minutes following running. This will help gradually reduce your heart and circulation to a normal rate.

Warnings

Seek medical attention if your dizziness is severe, reoccurs often or develops even when not running. In addition, get immediate medical attention if your lightheadedness after running is accompanied by severe head pain, a head injury, blurry vision, a stiff neck, weakness in your arms or legs, hearing or speech impairment, chest pain, instability or a fever of 101 or higher. These could be symptoms of a serious complication, such as a dramatic drop in blood pressure, heart condition like arrhythmia, or even a heart attack.

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