Why Do I Keep Getting Lightheaded When I Workout?

Check out this blog post to find out why you may be getting lightheaded when you workout and how to prevent it in the future!


When you experience lightheadedness during exercise, it is a sign that an imbalance exists between the amount of oxygen your muscles need to sustain their current activity level and the amount you are truly able to deliver. Lightheadedness is a common symptom of oxygen deprivation and can occur during or shortly after exercise if the body’s demand for oxygen exceeds what it can supply. While there are a number of potential causes for this, it is important to understand why this symptom occurs and how to mitigate its effects.

Lightheadedness due to physical exertion usually occurs when the blood pressure rises faster than your cardiovascular system can adjust. When this happens, not enough blood circulates through the brain and it becomes temporarily deprived of oxygen, causing you to feel faint or unsteady on your feet. In addition, extreme levels of physical exertion cause an increase in perspiration that can lead to dehydration which impairs the body’s ability

Causes of Lightheadedness

Working out can be a great way to be physically active and stay healthy. However, sometimes it can be difficult to continue exercising when you experience lightheadedness. This can be a common problem for both novice and experienced exercisers alike. In this article, we’ll look into some of the common causes of lightheadedness during workouts and what you can do to stay safe.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is a condition that can be caused by an inadequate consumption of carbohydrates, when you have diabetes or if you take certain types of medications. The body needs sugar to fuel the cells and without adequate sugar, you may feel lightheaded. Symptoms include dizziness, confusion, headaches and sweating. Low blood sugar is most likely to occur after exercise as your muscles will require more fuel than normal due to exercising and the extra energy used up can leave your blood sugar levels depleted. If left unchecked it can lead to fainting or even seizures. If possible it is best to eat a snack before or during exercise in order to maintain a healthy blood sugar level throughout your workout. Snacks should consist of complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables which are digested slowly and will release glucose over time instead of all at once. Fueling up with plenty of water before exercising can also be beneficial since dehydration has been linked to lightheadedness. It is also important to listen to your body as fatigue and dizziness could be signs that you are pushing yourself too hard or not taking enough rest periods between sets – give yourself a break if needed!


Dehydration is a common cause of lightheadedness when working out. Our bodies are made up of mostly water and when we exercise, especially in hot temperatures, our body can become dehydrated quickly if we don’t replace these fluids. Symptoms that may accompany lightheadedness while exercising include dry mouth, thirst, nausea and headaches. To prevent dehydration and its accompanying symptoms, it’s important to drink sufficient amounts of water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout sessions. This is especially important if you’re doing long or intense workouts in a hot environment. Additionally, consuming snacks containing electrolytes such as salty crackers or pretzels may help as well.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can be one of the causes of lightheadedness. Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. When it drops too low, you may feel dizzy, weak or faint due to inadequate circulation and a drop in oxygen supply to your brain. Common causes of low blood pressure include dehydration, sudden loss of blood, medications (especially those used to treat high blood pressure), endocrine-related issues such as hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Treating low blood pressure usually involves correcting whatever underlying issue is causing the problem in addition to lifestyle changes such as increasing water intake and avoiding standing for too long at a time or upside down positions for too long.


Anemia is an often overlooked cause of lightheadedness and can occur as a result of blood loss or iron deficiency. Anemia can have many causes, including excessive menstrual periods, low iron intake in the diet, pregnancy and even medication side effects. It is also typical to experience dizziness due to lower oxygen levels in the body as a result of anemia related symptoms. If you are feeling especially lightheaded during periods of physical activity such as working out, it is important to check for signs and symptoms of anemia: fatigue, paleness, cold hands and feet, lack of appetite or digestion issues.

If you are found to be anemic, your physician may recommend increasing your iron intake from foods like red meats, dark green leafy vegetables or fortified whole grain products. Eating foods that are high in vitamin c such as oranges will enhance iron absorption as well. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe supplements if needed for more severe cases of anemia. Exercise has been found to strengthen the immune system and improve red blood cell production so any type of physical activity should be adapted in accordance with your condition rather than avoided completely.


Stress is a common cause of feeling lightheaded or dizzy during strenuous exercise. Stress can be caused by your external environment, such as exercising in extreme temperatures or exercising while ill or unwell. It can also be caused by internal factors, such as fear of failure or of personal injury to yourself. Emotional stress and physical exertion can put a strain on your body’s resources, especially when it is combined with other health issues such as diabetes, allergies and obesity.

The feeling of lightheadedness usually occurs because the brain does not have enough oxygen-rich blood flowing to it from the vessels in your neck and head area; this reduces the amount of nutrients and glucose that reaches the brain, resulting in symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, disorientation and fainting. In some cases, this reduced oxygen level may also cause cognitive impairment and memory lapses. Reducing stressors before exercise may help alleviate symptoms of lightheadedness before they start; all existing health conditions should be closely monitored when exercising to ensure that these symptoms don’t occur suddenly during an activity because they can lead to dangerous outcomes such as falls or loss of consciousness.


Lightheadedness during exercise is a warning sign that something is wrong, and it’s important to take the necessary steps to prevent it. Being lightheaded can lead to dehydration, fatigue, and other potential health concerns if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are some basic steps that can be taken to prevent lightheadedness from occurring when exercising. In this article, we’ll discuss several prevention measures you can take to ensure that you stay safe and healthy while working out.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is essential to ensuring that you have sufficient vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to support the demands of regular exercise. In particular, make sure you get enough complex carbohydrates and lean proteins minutes before working out and right after in order to protect your energy levels. Additionally, complex carbohydrates slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream which will help with dizziness or lightheadedness when working out. Foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, beans, lentils and quinoa are great pre-workout options. A lean protein such as poultry or fish can also be consumed alongside the carbs for a well-rounded pre-workout meal. Eating a balanced diet regularly will also work towards improving your aerobic capacity over time; this will make workouts easier for you in the long run.

Stay Hydrated

It is important to stay hydrated while exercising. When your body is dehydrated, your blood pressure rises, and the energy supply to your brain decreases. This can lead to lightheadedness. Drinking adequate amounts of water before and during your workout can prevent dehydration and help keep you feeling alert and energized. Even better, it may reduce any short-term disorientation you experience when engaging in physical activity.

Be sure to drink water throughout the day, not just when working out. It is especially important to drink at least eight glasses of water per day if you work out frequently or for long durations— exercising increases the amount of fluids your body releases over time, so always make sure that you are fully hydrated before your exercise routine starts. Additionally, if you are engaging in vigorous physical activity without drinking enough fluids afterward, it might be difficult for your body to return to its pre-exercise state soon after you finish exercising.

If you are made aware within moments of feeling faint or lightheaded mid-workout, do not hesitate to grab a glass of water right away and rest if necessary until the feeling subsides— it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Take Breaks

When exercising, it is important to take regular breaks to avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded during your workout. At the first sign of signs of lightheadedness, it is essential to stop and take a break. This will allow you body to rest and recover from the physical exertion. Besides taking breaks, here are some other ways that can help prevent getting lightheaded when exercising:

-Drink plenty of water: Keeping your body hydrated is vital for performance and avoiding lightheadedness. Before exercising be sure to drink plenty of fluids so that your body is adequately hydrated during exercise.
-Take salt: Maintaining electrolyte balance can also help keep you from getting dizzy during exercise. Try adding a pinch of salt to water or sports drinks before you begin working out.
-Eat a healthy snack: Eating a healthy snack before beginning physically activity can help provide your body with the energy it needs to sustain you throughout exercise. It is important not to eat an overly large meal prior, as this can tax digestion and leave you feeling tired and lightheaded while working out.
-Warm Up: Warming up before beginning intense physical activity also helps reduce dizziness caused by exertion as it gives your heart and lungs time to adjust gradually from resting level to peak level performance.

Listen to Your Body

It is important that when you are exercising, you listen to your body and pay attention to sensations such as lightheadedness so that you can adjust your workout accordingly. While some lightheadedness during exercise is normal, if it continues to happen or become severe, you should stop and seek the advice of a medical professional.

Sometimes, lightheadedness during exercise can be caused by pushing yourself too hard and not taking breaks when needed. In this case, it is important to rest when feeling lightheaded and not to push your body if it’s not up for it. Additionally, take into account any medications that may be influencing your body’s reactions as well as checking your blood sugar level before starting any workout.

Drinking plenty of water and eating well before working out can also help with keeping a regular tempo throughout exercise in order to prevent feeling lightheaded. Consuming food with a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, fats and proteins will help fuel your body for exercise, allowing for better endurance during activity which in turn reduces the chances of feeling dizzy or overwhelmed.

It is best to start slowly into any new routine or activity rather than diving in all at once – that way your body has an easier time adapting depending on the strain you may create through the movements. In addition to this being gentle on your body – meaning less potential for injury – but it also allows for quicker discomfort alleviation due to more precise movements rather than pushing too forcefully which can cause exhaustion more quickly along with symptoms like dizziness or confusion due to overexertion

When to See a Doctor

If you frequently become lightheaded after exercise, it is important to consult your doctor. This could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, or even a response to the specific type of exercise. A physician can help you figure out why you are experiencing this symptom and recommend a lifestyle or exercise plan that is safe and effective for you.

Certain signs may indicate that lightheadedness should be taken more seriously and warrant a visit to your doctor. If other symptoms accompany the lightheadedness after exercise, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, or heart palpitations, see your doctor as soon as possible. Fainting seems to happen more often in those who have been sick with stomach viruses recently or are anaemic. In addition, frequent bouts of light-headedness and dizziness can be caused by cardiac diseases like abnormal heart rhythms and congestive heart failure.

Your doctor will conduct tests such as measuring blood pressure when standing up after lying down to determine if too much pressure on the ear vessels may cause your episodes of lightheadeness during exercise. Electrocardiogram (ECG) testing may also be done to detect any problems in your heart rhythm that may lead to fainting episodes during physical activity. Generally speaking though, if the frequency of your lightheaded episodes has increased over time or if it’s so severe that it stops you from completing workouts both safely and comfortably, then consulting with a medical professional is advised.


In conclusion, there are many possible causes of lightheadedness when working out. It is essential to listen to your body and seek medical advice if you experience lightheadedness while exercising. Possible causes may include dehydration, low blood sugar, poor physical condition, and overexertion. Also, it is important to warm up before working out vigorously since this can help prevent lightheadedness. Be sure to wear proper clothing and stay hydrated while engaging in physical activity in order to reduce the chance of experiencing any dizziness or feelings of lightheadedness during exercise.

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