Why Do I Get Light Headed When I Workout?

You may be wondering why you sometimes feel lightheaded when you workout. It’s not uncommon to feel this way, and there are a few reasons why it may happen.


Exercise can be beneficial for our overall health and well-being, but it’s important to maintain safe practices while participating in physical activities. One common symptom experienced during exercise is light-headedness, which can range from feeling slightly fatigued to experiencing a more dramatic dizzy spell. Though it is a normal and usually temporary symptom of working out, it’s important to understand why light-headedness occurs and how best to remain safe if this happens to you. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the causes of light-headedness when exercising and provide some practical strategies for staying safe during physical activity.


Lightheadedness can be a normal response to exercising, and sometimes it is a sign of a more serious issue. It can also be caused by a number of things, including dehydration, over-exertion, or lack of food. It is important to understand the causes of lightheadedness when working out in order to address the issue and stay safe. In this article, we will discuss the different possible causes of lightheadedness when working out.


Dehydration is one of the most common causes of feeling light-headed during exercise. When your body is deprived of water, it will struggle to carry out normal functions. This can cause fatigue, and can even lead to dizziness and lightheadedness. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you are properly hydrated before beginning exercise, as well as throughout your workout and afterwards. To do this, drink plenty of fluids both before and during your working session. It is particularly important to drink fluids when exercising in a hot environment or in high temperatures. Make sure that you are drinking enough fluids that your urine remains pale yellow in color—too dark and it may be a sign you need more hydration. Additionally, increase electrolyte levels such as sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium with sports drinks or electrolyte tablets if you find yourself still feeling weakened by dehydration after drinking plain fluids.

Low Blood Sugar

When you exercise, your body is burning off a large amount of energy in the form of glucose from your muscles. If you haven’t eaten a meal or snack recently, then your glucose levels drop and you can become light-headed. Eating something with carbohydrates before working out can help prevent this occurrence, as the carbohydrates will be broken down into glucose and can be used for fuel during exercise. Additionally, if you have been exercising for an extended period of time or are pushing yourself beyond your usual limits, it is possible to deplete your body’s stores of glucose more rapidly than usual which can also lead to light-headedness. If this is the case, it is important to take breaks during exercise and rehydrate plus replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates with a snack or protein shake to help prevent dehydration and low blood sugar.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can cause a number of different symptoms, including light headedness. This occurs when the heart is not able to pump enough blood to the rest of the body to meet demand.

When exercising, it is common for your heart rate and breathing rate to increase. Your veins must be able to constrict and expand in order to carry blood back and forth from the heart to meet this increased demand. If they are unable to do this effectively, your blood pressure may drop too low, leading to feelings of light headedness or dizziness.

Other factors such as dehydration or poor nutrition can also result in decreased blood pressure levels during exercise which may lead you feeling faint or light headed. It is important that you take steps prior to beginning any physical activity in order ensure that you are properly hydrated and nourished. You should also be sure that your sleeping patterns and nutrition habits on a regular basis are sufficient enough for you engage in strenuous physical activity without detrimentally affecting your health.


Anemia is a condition that may be responsible for feeling lightheaded or dizzy during or after physical activity. In anemia, your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of your body. Without adequate oxygen, you may experience lightheadedness and weakness when performing physical activities such as exercise.

If you have anemia, it is important to seek medical advice from your doctor before engaging in any type of exercise regimen. Your doctor can diagnose anemia with a simple blood test and provide treatment options if it is determined that you have the condition. It is also important to follow up with your doctor regularly to monitor changes in your condition and adjust therapy accordingly.

Common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, confusion and chest pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with feeling lightheaded during or after exercise it is likely that you should consult a doctor for further evaluation and testing to see if anemia is the cause.


Working out in a hot and humid environment can cause your core body temperature to rise, which could explain why you get light-headed. Overheating can cause the blood vessels to expand, leading to the sudden drop in blood pressure that can make you feel dizzy and lightheaded during exercise. It is important to take regular breaks in cooler climates if you are working out outdoors or increase airflow if you are exercising indoors. To reduce the risk of overheating and feeling light-headed, be sure to stay hydrated throughout your workout as heat produces more fluid loss through sweat. Additionally, try wearing clothes made from lightweight fabrics and colors such as white or other lighter colors, as dark colors will absorb more heat radiation from the sun.


Lightheadedness during exercise is a common symptom for many, but it can be prevented with the right precautions. It’s important to pay attention to your body and keep yourself hydrated and well-fueled before, during, and after exercise. By understanding the signs of lightheadedness and taking necessary changes to adjust your workouts, you can prevent feeling faint during exercise.


It is important to make sure that your body stays hydrated when exercising, both before and during physical activity. It is especially important if you are going to be sweating a lot during your workout. Dehydration can lead to lightheadedness, fatigue, decreased performance capacity, nausea, and dizziness — all of which can lead to poor performance and an increased risk of injury. Therefore, it is recommended that when exercising or engaging in any form of physical activity you consume 1-2 cups of water or sports drinks at least one hour before the start of your workout. Additionally, it is recommended that you drink approximately 10-15 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes during your workout session to ensure adequate hydration.

Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet for an active lifestyle is important for providing your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to function optimally. Eating a balanced diet, which includes protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day can help you maintain energy levels during physical activity. Make sure you are getting enough iron and B vitamins, as these are important to provide your body with enough oxygen while exercising.

Ensuring that your caloric intake is properly balanced to match the intensity of your physical activity is also key in preventing lightheadedness when working out. Eat a nourishing meal several hours prior to exercise so that your body has time to digest it. Depending on the duration or intensity of physical activity, you may also want to consider having a light snack or adding electrolytes before activity as well. Finally, include plenty of fluids throughout your day — hydration is essential for maintaining energy levels and avoiding dizziness.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

When you’re exercising, it is important to wear the right clothes and gear. Having the right exercise gear can prevent overheating, dehydration and other issues that can make you lightheaded. Wear moisture-wicking clothing or special athletic clothing when you exercise to help keep your body cool. Make sure your clothing fits properly and doesn’t interfere with your range of motion. Also be sure to wear comfortable shoes that are designed for whatever physical activity it is you are doing. Improperly fitting clothing or shoes can cause friction on the skin and cause unnecessary heat that may lead to lightheadedness as well as blisters or other injuries. Additionally, be sure to protect your head from the sun by wearing a hat while working out outdoors. A wide-brimmed hat will provide the best coverage and may also make you feel cooler while outside in hot weather conditions

Take Breaks

It is important to take breaks when you are working out to prevent light headedness, dizziness, fatigue or fainting. Taking breaks during your workout helps give your heart and muscles a rest which can improve blood flow to the brain. This can also help maintain proper blood pressure and oxygen levels in the body. It is recommended to take small, frequent breaks throughout your workout rather than larger, more sporadic ones that can interrupt the flow of the exercise routine. During your rest periods make sure you focus on deep breathing, which will help reduce fatigue. You could also try drinking some water or stretching during this time as well as it can help regulate your body temperature and prevent dehydration which may lead to lightheadedness.


In conclusion, light-headedness while working out can be caused by a variety of factors, including dehydration, anemia and vitamin deficiency, low blood sugar, improper nutrition before exercise and not warming up before exercising. If you are experiencing faintness or dizziness consistent with stretches or times of physical activity, it is recommended that you see your doctor in order to get checked for any underlying medical conditions. Taking proper precautions prior to engaging in physical activity by drinking enough water, eating properly and gradually increasing exertion can help prevent the occurrence of dizziness due to intense exercise.

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