Lightheadedness and tingling in the face after exercise can be the sign of a serious underlying medical condition, including dehydration, low blood sugar, a cranial hemorrhage or a pinched nerve. Some of these conditions can cause severe, even fatal, complications if they are not remedied immediately.
Low Blood Sugar
Not eating anything for hours before a workout can lead to lightheadedness and tingling during or after the exercise. You may avoid these feelings by eating a meal about three hours before your workout or eating a small snack an hour before exercise. Eating a meal right before an exercise session is not recommended, however, because it can bring on cramping and sluggishness during the workout.
Exercise causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. If you have underlying cerebrovascular disease, this increase can cause blood vessels to burst in your brain. Symptoms of cerebral hemorrhaging include lightheadedness, tingling and facial muscle weakness. Trouble speaking and walking can also occur. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical treatment.
An awkward motion during exercise or increased blood pressure can lead to a pinched nerve. This pinched nerve can cause tingling in areas of the face, and facial muscle weakness can also result. Pinched nerves may resolve by themselves or through conservative therapy. In severe cases, a pinched nerve may require surgery.
During intense exercise, your body can lose a considerable amount of liquid through perspiration. This can lead to a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness and tingling in your face. If you experience dehydration, you might also notice your throat is dry and your body ceases to produce sweat. You can remedy the condition with an intake of fluids.
- MayoClinic.com; Eating and Exercise: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Workouts; December 2010
- "Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology"; A. C. Guyton and J. Hall; 2002
- "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 16th Edition"; Dennis Kasper, et al.; 2005
- PubMed Health; Stroke; June 2010
- MayoClinic.com; Pinched Nerve; January 2011