Dizziness After Exercising

Exercise raises your heart rate to get your blood pumping and gives you a boost of feel-good endorphins, but sometimes you might not feel terrific right after the fact. Dizziness and lightheadedness after you have finished a workout can affect some people, but usually it's not a serious medical problem. Consult your physician if you still have post-exercise dizziness after taking some self-care measures.

Hydration prevents post-exercise dizziness. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Causes

The main causes of feeling dizzy after a workout are connected to blood sugar and your circulation. Going for a run without eating or not eating enough carbohydrates and protein before your work out can cause your blood sugar to drop. Low blood glucose levels can cause a variety of symptoms, among them feeling lightheaded. You might feel dizzy during exercise if you have not eaten, or right after you finish a workout.

The abrupt drop in your blood circulation after exercising can also cause dizziness. Participating in aerobic activity elevates your heart rate, increases your circulation and causes your blood vessels to dilate. When you stop the vigorous movement, your heart rate drops and your circulation decreases again, but your blood vessels are still dilated. The combination of these factors can cause you to become temporarily lightheaded and dizzy.

Solutions

Cooling off or incrementally stepping your workout down as you near the finish point can relieve dizziness. Ease out of your workout by walking toward the end instead of stopping all activity cold turkey. This gives your body a chance to catch up to itself; your circulation, heart rate and vessel dilation can all return to normal at the same time.

Prevention

In addition to committing to a cooling-off period post-workout, prevent lightheadedness with a pre-workout snack to regulate your blood sugar. A light snack of carbs and protein to give you energy and keep your blood sugar at healthy levels may be all you need to ward off dizziness. Hydration is equally important throughout your workout; you may feel dizzy if you are dehydrated. Cheese, crackers and water or a sports drink is an ideal snack to boost your energy levels before you exercise.

Warning

Dizziness during exercise is not normal and can be more dangerous than dizziness after a workout. Your heart may not be functioning properly if you feel lightheaded, dizzy or if you faint in the middle of your exercise routine. This possibly serious condition requires immediate medical attention.

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