The 5 Possible Causes of Dizziness After Exercise

Workout sessions use up plenty of energy and can leave you feeling worn out. However, it’s not okay to suffer dizziness after physical exercises. Though this symptom doesn’t indicate anything serious, some cases can be alarming. Dizziness post-exercise is often caused by poor breathing, fatigue, or dehydration.

However, other times it may be triggered by pre-existing factors such as pregnancy, low blood sugar, low pressure, dehydration, etc.?

For instance, during the first 15 minutes of vigorous activity, the body sources energy from the glucose present in the blood and muscles. As soon as the body uses up your blood sugar, it sources glucose from other reserves. Therefore, the absence of glucose can cause energy deficiencies and trigger dizziness.

Keep on reading to discover the reasons for lightheadedness post-workout and the best practices to prevent it.

Types of Dizziness After Exercise
Keeping careful track of your symptoms will help you understand which sort of dizziness you’re feeling post-exercise. Specific symptoms may indicate a pre-existing health condition that requires immediate treatment.

Discover the two forms of dizziness you may develop during exercise or post-workout:

  • Lightheadedness: When one is lightheaded, they feel as if they are about to pass out. They may also feel a lack of balance even if the environment does not appear to be moving/spinning. This sort of dizziness usually goes away if you rest in a laying position.
  • Vertigo: This form of wooziness makes you feel as though your surroundings are whirling or spinning. Even if your surroundings don’t appear to be spinning, you may feel a loss of balance. You may also feel nauseous or vomit in the worst situations.

Most people experience bouts of lightheadedness from time to time. However, there’s reason to worry if you experience vertigo symptoms, as this condition can be dangerous.

When combined with other symptoms such as a slurred speech, compromised vision, incoherence, difficulty standing up, extreme nausea and vomiting, vertigo can be extremely dangerous.

Make your doctor aware of any changes in your overall health. And be sure to explain the sort of dizziness you feel as it will help them make an accurate diagnosis.
What Causes Dizziness After Exercise?
As hinted throughout the post, dizziness may happen due to many different reasons. Below are the most common causes, how to remedy them, and the best practices to follow:

  • Not breathing enough
  • Overpushing your body
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • A fall in blood pressure

Discover more about them below:
1.     Not breathing enough
Your muscles consume a lot of oxygen while you exercise. Your breathing and heart rate speed up, allowing more oxygenated blood to get into your muscles.

If you don’t take enough deep breaths during and after exercise, your heart may not be able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood into the brain. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, one may feel dizzy.

If you feel dizzy after a workout, sit on the floor. Breathe in and out three times. Fill your lungs with one deep breath and expel the air slowly. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes before carefully rising to your feet.

During some activities, such as core exercises, many people hold or limit their breath. Try to strike a balance between keeping a firm core and holding your breath.
2.     Dehydration
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dizziness after exercise. One is said to be dehydrated if they lose more water than they are consuming.

During a workout, the body’s energy needs increases triggering a temperature rise. To cool itself down, your body sweats and loses plenty of water during vigorous exercise, more so on a warm day.

Besides dizziness, dehydration also causes:

  • Dry lips
  • A light head
  • A feeling of thirst
  • Tiredness

To keep your body water levels in check:

  • Drink plenty of water and fluids every day
  • Hydrate before workout
  • Take water breaks in between workout sessions
  • Carry enough water depending on the type and duration of training
  • Take plenty of fluids soon after workout

Do not just pack a water bottle and carry it back home half-full after the workout. Because your body needs water to perform most of its functions, always supply it with enough fluids all the time.
3.     Low blood sugar levels
Muscles use up more energy than usual during workouts. In the first quarter of an hour of vigorous activity, the body sources its power from the glucose present in the blood and muscles. As soon as the body uses up your blood sugar, it sources glucose from other reserves, e.g., the liver.

Because your brain depends on glucose for optimal function, you are most likely to feel dizzy when it’s deprived of sugar. Other signs of low blood sugar include profuse sweating, confusion, tiredness, headache.

You can solve low blood sugar problems by taking a snack. For more immediate results, sip on a glass of juice. Juicy drinks carry fructose (natural glucose) that the body takes up immediately.

To prevent low blood sugar issues during workout sessions, supply your body with plenty of glucose reservoirs. Consume snacks with lean proteins and whole grains around 30 minutes before exercise sessions.
4.     Low blood pressure
The body’s blood pressure drops significantly around 30 – 60 minutes after a workout. Though this happens to everyone, some people suffer a more rapid drop than others. Also, while blood pressure can drop during or after any form of exercise, it is more likely to happen if you fail to cool down after an intensive workout.

Vigorous physical activities tend to overwork your muscles and heart–which work extra hard to supply your muscles with plenty of oxygen to help fuel the body.

As soon as you stop working out, your heart resumes its normal position– and it takes a bit longer for blood vessels to adjust. This could slow down blood flow to the brain. If this happens, you will most likely feel light-headed and dizzy.

A dizzy and light head is a red flag of fainting. If you experience such symptoms, sit down and tuck your head between your knees. This position improves blood circulation transporting more oxygen to the brain.

But how can you deal with low blood pressure issues before they happen?

While there’s no sure way to prevent it, you can reduce the likelihood by:

  • Taking plenty of water.
  • Eating well ahead of exercise.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet.

Anyone with blood pressure prescriptions should discuss any signs of dizziness after exercise with their physician for professional guidance.
5.     Over-pushing your body
Though one is likely to overstretch their limit in group sessions and teamwork, it can happen even in solo sessions.

Over-exercising can trigger a fall in blood pressure or cause dehydration. In the worst cases, the victim feels lightheaded, dizzy, or passes out.

If you begin experiencing dizziness, spare a few minutes to relax, breathe deeply and restore your blood pressure. Lastly, take plenty of water to replenish your muscles.

To avoid light-headedness due to over-stretching your limit, do not try to achieve everything in a day. Push yourself but do so carefully and slowly. Remember, progress takes time. Start with less intense exercises and then proceed to the next level until you reach your target.
Does Pregnancy Cause Dizziness After Exercise?
No. Though pregnancy manifests with its set of complications, it should not affect your everyday workout routine. That being said, any wooziness felt after a workout may be triggered by one of the diseases mentioned above.

Other contributing factors include iron deficiency due to anemia or a condition known as preeclampsia.

Visit a practitioner as soon as possible if you’re expectant and experience dizziness after workout:

  • Swollen hands or face
  • Increasing blood pressure
  • Compromised eyesight
  • Unending headaches

Medical experts will conduct tests to determine the triggers of the above symptoms and whether or not it poses a threat to the exercise. Next, they’ll advise you accordingly.
Final Words on Dizziness After Exercise
As hinted throughout the post, dizziness may happen due to many different reasons. Keeping track of your symptoms will help you understand which sort of dizziness you’re feeling post-exercise.

While some triggers are manageable through best practices, specific symptoms may indicate a pre-existing health condition requiring immediate healthcare.

Also, since prevention is better than cure, you want to take preventative measures when going for a workout session.

Remember to drink plenty of water, eat enough energy-giving foods, avoid overworking your body and enjoy plenty of rest after a workout. Following these practices should help reduce dizziness after exercise.

Lastly, inform your doctor of any changes in your overall health, and be sure to explain the sort of dizziness you feel as it will help them make an accurate diagnosis.