It is common to feel dizzy when standing too fast from lying down or sitting after exercise. Fainting or dizziness can occur from a simple shift in the body that pulls the blood flow down. Why do I get dizzy when I exercise?
It is called orthostatic hypotension, a form of low blood pressure.
What happens when I feel dizzy?
Dizziness occurs when lying down or sitting for long periods and then standing up quickly, or when you are dehydrated – such as when you are ill or exercising. There may be other underlying triggers for dizziness, but during exercise, a rapid change in exercise position, difficulty, or sudden stoppage can lead to low blood pressure that causes dizziness.
With some exercise, you can move the areas where your blood flows. Standing from a lying or sitting position (often during exercise) causes the blood to rush and collect in the legs and abdomen, which means that less blood circulates and returns to your heart, causing a reduction in blood pressure.
Cells called baroreceptors near the heart and neck detect this low blood pressure and signal your brain. When your brain hears the news, it tells your heart to pump faster to pump more blood to get your blood pressure back to normal. You may feel dizzy until your blood pressures get back to normal.
Dehydration during exercise can also cause dizziness
Dehydration is known to reduce blood volume and make you feel dizzy as your brain sends messages to your heart to stabilize blood pressure. Exercises that produce more significant amounts of sweat are more likely to result in dehydration.
When dizziness is the result of inactivity
Dizziness may also sign postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). This condition most often affects young women who may struggle to stay active. People with POTS as a trainer may feel dizzy or even faint.
It is essential to follow all your treatment strategies if you have POTS, including taking medicine, increasing the amount of fluid, and gradually increasing physical activity. It is essential to exercise because it increases the heart’s blood volume, size, strength, and pumping action.
Best and worst exercises
Recent research suggests that aerobic exercise that is not as gravitationally challenging is best for people with POTS.
The ultimate goal is to develop proper exercises to deal with the symptoms over time. Staying in a semi-supine position does not.
You can use semi-lying cycling, rowing machines, and a seated step to reduce the risk of syncope (fainting). Train the lower body in sitting positions with a leg press or seated abdominal exercises when lifting weights. Strengthening the lower body reduces blood collection in the legs.
Try a half-lying work at a moderate intensity level for the first three to four weeks. You can gradually increase the intensity and exercise on a stationary cycle for another 3 or 4 weeks.
If it works well, I change people to a treadmill or elliptical machine. You need to make sure that you are not working too intensely. Once you feel better, you can usually start exercising. Stay away from free weights because dizziness can increase the chances of losing weight. Avoid high-intensity work or exercises with a fast change of position.
How often to train with POTS
Here’s how people with POTS can build up their exercise plan:
- Start working three days a week, resting between days.
- Add a fourth day after about three weeks.
- Add the fifth day after a few weeks.
Walk for 20 minutes a day and add five minutes every other to the third week. Finally, you can exercise 40 to 45 minutes most days in line with what is recommended for everyone.
Remember these tips:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: You need to prehydrate 30 minutes before going to the gym with about 8 grams of fluid. Drink water. Drink 4 grams of fluid every 15 minutes with exercise.
- Do not skimp on heating and cooling: People with POTS need to warm up and cool down very slowly for five minutes each. For the warm-up, be sure to increase your workout gradually over the first five minutes until you reach the fitness phase. To cool down, reduce your training regularly by over five minutes before stopping.
- Track your target heart rate: Make sure you stay in the target heart rate where you feel comfortable. POTS patients do not fall into typical training heart rate levels, so testing determines what they can tolerate. Know your parameters and stay within these levels.
If you need help exercising, start by getting an evaluation from a cardiologist or neurologist to ensure no underlying problems are causing the condition.
Other conditions causing dizziness
Severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and not drinking enough fluids can make you dizzy. Medical conditions can prevent your body from pumping more blood when you get up, for example:
- Low heart rate (bradycardia).
- Heart valve problems.
- Heart attack or heart failure.
Several nervous system disorders can disrupt the body’s regular blood pressure regulation system, for example:
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Multiple system atrophy.
- Pure autonomous failure.
Endocrine problems that can cause dizziness:
- Low blood sugar.
- Thyroid problems.
- Addison’s disease.
Orthostatic hypotension can last from a few seconds to several minutes, but it can be a red flag for more serious medical conditions if it happens often. See your GP if you feel dizzy when you get up regularly.