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How to Avoid Exercise Induced Nausea & Vomiting

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
How to Avoid Exercise Induced Nausea & Vomiting
Cool down properly to avoid light headedness. Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

When you push your body during exercise or exercise without the proper nutrition, a wave of nausea could interrupt your workout. Sickness and vomiting often cut a workout short, since you then have to attend to your symptoms. The sensation you experience during exercise is likely more closely related to your habits than the actual exercise in which you're participating. Prepare for and finish exercise properly so the physical exertion doesn't make you feel sick.

Step 1

Eat a small snack about 30 minutes before you exercise. A study published in "Appetite" in April 2001 found that nausea is exacerbated both by fasting before exercise and eating immediately before exercise. Exercising on a completely empty stomach could lead to nausea because of low blood sugar, while exercising on a full stomach means moving around before your food is completely digested. A healthy snack, such as trail mix or a cheese stick, helps power your workout without making you feel sick.

Step 2

Exercise in a temperature-controlled environment when it's above 90 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors. Exercising in extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, both which make you feel nauseated. When your core temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, you're at a higher risk for organ failure, so stay indoors when it's hot out.

Step 3

Exercise to your ability and increase your intensity in increments. While pushing yourself certainly burns calories, it doesn't bode well for your body. Exercising too strenuously when your body isn't in condition could lead to overexertion, which results in nausea, lightheadedness and even fainting. Build your strength over time rather than throwing yourself into intense exercise before your body is completely ready.

Step 4

Drink water to stay hydrated throughout your workout. Dehydration often manifests as nausea. As you exercise, you lose water through sweat. That water must be replenished to head off dehydration. The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking during your workout at least 7 to 10 ounces of water for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise. You usually don't need sports drinks to replace potassium and sodium unless you're exercising at high intensity for more than 45 to 60 minutes.

Step 5

Cool down at the end of your workout. When you stop exercise abruptly, your heart continues pumping blood to your working extremities, leaving less for your brain. By stopping exercise gradually, you will regulate your heart rate and redirect blood flow more evenly throughout your body so you feel better after your workout.

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