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Why Do I Feel Dizzy & Lightheaded When Working Out?

Sessions of workout are times when every part and muscle of the body is worked to its optimum capacity. However many people who happen to work out on a regular basis have reported several instances where they have felt dizzy and lightheaded. It is important to understand the reason for feeling dizzy and lightheaded in order to take the right measures and thus let us have a look at the reasons for the same.

Why Do I Feel Dizzy & Lightheaded When Working Out?

Some of the possible reasons which could leave you feeling dizzy, unsettled and lightheaded soon after your workout sessions or even during or amidst your exercise regimes are:

Inadequate Breathing: At the time of exercising your body parts such as your muscles are in a huge requirement of oxygen. Hence during your workout sessions, your heartbeat and you’re breathing rate increases considerably. This helps to provide a greater amount of oxygenated blood to flow into different muscles of the body. Hence if you are holding your breath for a long time when you are working out or you are not breathing the adequate amount then it can make you feel a little dizzy at the end of the workout session or even in between the session (1). Often when the brain is starved of the required amount of oxygenated blood, you can feel a little lightheaded at the end of the day. If you feel such lightheaded during your workout sessions you need to sit down immediately and take a few deep breaths. In order to prevent such dizziness, you must not hold your breath for a very long time and keep a steady flow of breathing.

Overexertion as a Cause of Feeling Dizzy & Lightheaded: Often at the time of working-out, people tend to forget the limit beyond which they should not exert themselves. When they do this often, there is a fall in the blood pressure. In other instances, it has been seen that such people often face the problem of dehydration.

This is when you are likely to experience a sort of lightheadedness and a dizzy feeling (2, 3). If you ever have such an experience all that you need to do is stop for a while and catch your breath. The best thing to do is sit down and let your heartbeat and your blood pressure to stabilize a bit. At this junction try to drink as much water as possible. If you cannot have it at a single go, then try to sip water continuously in small amounts. The water will deplete the water loss in your muscles and you will soon feel better. In order to prevent such episodes try to take things a little slow. You must not push your body beyond a certain point. To bring your body to a shape do not become harsh towards yourself.

Dehydration as a Cause of Dizziness and Lightheadedness When Working Out: Dehydration is one of the most common reasons why a person can feel dizzy and lightheaded at the time of doing their workout sessions (4). This is a situation when your body loses more water than it consumes. At this junction, you need to have enough water. In order to prevent such dehydration try to maintain a schedule of a certain number of workouts after which you will have some sips or gulps of water. This is how you can be better hydrated throughout the day.

Low Blood Sugar Causing Dizziness and Lightheadedness: At the time of exercising, your muscles use the blood sugar that is afloat in your bloodstream. Once this stock is exhausted then the muscles start tapping the blood sugar reserves that are there in the liver. This is one of the most essential nutrients as the brain cannot function in a proper manner without the adequate supply of glucose. It is at this time that your blood sugar levels can fall and can get depleted below the desired levels (5, 6). If this occurs you will naturally feel dizzy and lightheadedness. This is a situation that can be easily handled if you have a slight snack that is rich in glucose such as a banana or a glass of juice.

Low Blood Pressure Causing Dizziness and Lightheadedness: In certain cases, it has been seen that soon after the workout sessions a person often faces the problem of a dipping blood pressure level. This can happen if you have been into a very active and strenuous workout session and you stopped in an abrupt manner (2).

This is when even if you have stopped but your blood vessels and your heart takes their own time to cool down and normalize their functioning (7). This can often be an outcome of an autonomic nervous system dysfunction (2). Often amidst all this, the brain is not able to get the required amount of oxygenated blood. If you have such an experience it is always advisable that you sit down in a spot with your head between your knees. This is how all the required oxygenated blood will reach your brain. Drinking enough water can also help to stabilize the whole matter.

Pregnancy: Although, pregnancy is a time when you need to take some extra care but you should not stay away from your daily exercise regime and stop the workout sessions completely. If you feel lightheaded and dizzy while you are pregnant and working out it could be due to any of the above reasons. It could also be due to the reason for a deficit of iron in your body (8). In any case, you must take active advice of a doctor and all the other required precautions.


The feeling of getting dizzy and lightheaded while working out is a rather unsettling feeling. However, this is one of the most normal things to happen and can happen to anybody. There is nothing to be scared of the whole event and you need to be careful to observe all the above precautions so that you do not land in any bigger trouble. However, if you feel that this as a signal happens to be a persistent one then it is advisable that you do visit and consult a doctor and get a full and a complete through checkup done.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 8, 2019

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