If a recent sweat sesh has left you reeling, its normal to be concerned.

Post-workout dizziness usually isn’t a sign of anything serious. Oftentimes, it results from improper breathing or dehydration.

Sound familiar? Read on to learn more about why this happens and what you can do to stop it.

When you’re exercising, your muscles eat up a lot of oxygen. Your breathing and heart rate increase so that more oxygenated blood can flow into your muscles.

If you aren’t breathing enough during or after exercise, your heart may not be pumping enough oxygenated blood into your brain. Dizziness can occur whenever the brain is starved for oxygen.

How to find relief

Take a seat on the floor. Take three deep breaths and exhale slowly. Continue for three to five minutes before slowly rising to a standing position.

How to prevent this in the future

Many people hold or restrict their breath during certain workouts, such as core exercises. Try to find a happy medium between keeping your core tight and holding your breath. The longer you work on this, the easier it will become.

Although overexertion is common in group exercise classes and team training sessions, it can happen anywhere, anytime.

Pushing too hard during your workout can cause your blood pressure to drop or result in dehydration. This can leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or faint.

How to find relief

If you’re feeling dizzy, take a minute to cool down, catch your breath, and slow your heart rate. Drink as much water as possible to rehydrate your depleted muscles.

How to prevent this in the future

Trying to do too much too fast can do more harm than good, so listen to your body. You should push yourself, but do so slowly over time.

For now, try taking your workouts down a few notches. You can gradually increase their intensity each week until you reach your desired level.

Dehydration happens whenever you lose more water than you’re taking in.

When you exercise, your body temperature rises. Your body sweats to cool itself down. You can lose a lot of water during intense exercise, especially if it’s a hot day.

In addition to dizziness, you may experience:

  • lightheadedness
  • dry mouth
  • extreme thirst
  • fatigue

How to find relief

This is an easy one. Drink water! Lots of it.

How to prevent this in the future

It isn’t enough to carry a water bottle — you also have to drink it!

You may find it helpful to stick to set water breaks during a workout. Consider taking a drink after you complete a certain number of minutes or rotations.

You should also ensure that you have enough water to sustain you during your workout.

Take your access to refill stations, the intensity of the exercise, and overall duration into consideration when packing your water supply.

When you exercise, your muscles consume more energy than normal.

During the first 15 minutes of exercise, your body draws on the sugar (glucose) floating around in your bloodstream and muscles to sustain you.

Once that’s depleted, your blood sugar drops. Your body taps into your reserves, drawing glucose from your liver.

Your brain relies on glucose to function normally. When your brain is starved for glucose, you may feel dizzy.

Other symptoms include:

  • sweating
  • shaking
  • confusion
  • headache
  • fatigue

How to find relief

Low blood sugar can be easily remedied by eating a small snack, like a banana.

For faster results, try drinking a glass of juice. Juice contains fructose, a natural form of glucose that the body absorbs quickly.

How to prevent this in the future

To keep your blood sugar levels from dropping during your workouts, make sure your body has plenty of glucose reserves to draw on. You can do this by snacking on whole grains or lean proteins about an hour or so before your workout.

Your blood pressure is normally at its lowest point about 30 to 60 minutes after exercise.

Some people experience a more rapid drop. This can happen during any type of exercise, but may be more common when you fail to cool down after a vigorous workout.

When you’re exercising, your heart and muscles are working in overdrive. They keep the blood pumping, so that your muscles can get the oxygen they need.

When you abruptly stop exercising, your heart and muscles quickly return to their normal pace. It can take a little longer for your blood vessels to catch up. This means that oxygenated blood may flow to your brain at a slower rate than normal.

When your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it makes you feel dizzy and lightheaded.

How to find relief

If you’re feeling lightheaded or faint, sit down and put your head between your knees. This will help bring oxygenated blood to your brain.

How to prevent this in the future

It isn’t always possible to prevent blood pressure drops.

It may help to be fully hydrated, as dehydration may exacerbate the problem. Make sure you eat well before your workouts and maintain a healthy diet.

If you take any blood pressure medications, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They may be able to prescribe a different medication or make other recommendations.

If your normal workout routine is suddenly causing dizziness, take a break until you’re able to speak with your doctor.

Pregnancy shouldn’t have any effect on your workout routine, which means your dizziness may be caused by one of the conditions listed above.

In some cases, dizziness could be a sign of iron-deficiency anemia or preeclampsia.

See a doctor immediately if you’re experiencing:

  • swelling in the face or hands
  • high blood pressure
  • blurred vision
  • persistent headaches

Your doctor will want to run some tests to determine what’s causing your symptoms and whether it’s affecting the pregnancy. They can advise you on any next steps.

If you adjust your routine but continue to experience dizziness, make an appointment with a doctor or other healthcare provider. Your symptoms may be a sign of an underlying condition.

Your provider will perform a physical exam to assess how well your heart and lungs are functioning. They may also request blood tests to check for nutritional deficiencies, infection, or diabetes.