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Have you ever gotten dizzy when working out? Well, there might be something you can do about it.

First, you need to identify the type of dizziness you're experiencing. Doctors have broken it down into four categories.

Anxiety - is caused if you have a lot of apprehension, fear or worry. Some people who are frightened or depressed may use the word "dizzy" to convey those feelings. If your dizziness is caused by anxiety, you will need to work with a therapist or counselor to take care of the problem.

Disequilibrium or Imbalance - is a problem with walking. People experiencing disequilibrium tend to be unsteady on their feet and may feel like they are going to fall. There are numerous causes, but some examples include diabetes, a disorder in the cerebellum (the part of the brain responsible for balance), Parkinson's disease or a form of arthritis called cervical spondylosis. All of these disorders must be properly evaluated and treated by a doctor or health care professional.

Vertigo - is the feeling you're moving, when in fact, you're not. When you spin someone around playing pin-the-tail on the donkey, they're in a temporary state of vertigo. If you experience this without a "causal factor" (such as somebody spinning you around), then you might have a problem with the vestibular system of the inner ear. Vertigo can be caused by a simple infection like a cold or something more serious like Dandy's syndrome or even a stroke. If you experience vertigo and haven't been subjected to something that could directly bring it about, your doctor or health care professional should evaluate you.

Lightheadedness - is when you feel like you're going to faint and is the most common form of "dizziness" people experience when working out. It's also called syncope and usually occurs when you stand up too quickly. Lightheadedness is typically caused when something restricts blood flow to the brain. This can happen in the heat, when you're excited, if you're hyperventilating, drinking alcohol or taking medications like antidepressants. Athletes may experience lightheadedness because of their slow heart rates. In rare cases, it can be caused by stroke or heart disease.

If you are experiencing lightheadedness, and it's NOT caused by something serious, these are some things you can do to relieve it.

  1. When you warm up especially vigorously, take some time before you start weight training. If you warm-up for 10 minutes, cool back down for 3 to 5 minutes while stretching. Don't jump right into your weight-training workout.

  2. Standing for long periods can cause blood to pool in your legs and not circulate back to the brain. This can also happen during heavy exertion or when you rapidly change posture. The solution may be to walk around and wait until your heart rate returns to within 20 or 30 beats of your Resting Heart Rate. You also shouldn't bounce up immediately after an exercise. Stand up or change positions slowly. If walking around doesn't relieve the dizziness, sit or lie down.

  3. Keep drinking water. When your body is short on fluids, or you've lost a lot due to sweating, dizziness may be the result. You should always stay adequately hydrated throughout your workout.

  4. Make sure you've eaten enough before the workout. If your body doesn't have enough fuel (food), it can cause lightheadedness and sabotage your fitness plans. Make sure you eat something 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. A banana, oatmeal, unsalted dry roasted nuts or toast can help. Experiment with different options to see what works best for you.

  5. You may need to take your workouts slower until your body grows stronger. Dizziness may simply be your body's way of telling you that you're moving too fast. Don't rush things. Getting fit is a lifetime goal, not a short-term affair.

If you've tried the suggestions above, and are still experiencing lightheadedness, then make sure you see a doctor or health care professional.
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Updated 1/27/2021