General Question

Glow's avatar

Why do I get light headed and dizy during cardio work outs?

Asked by Glow (1366points) May 21st, 2009

After about 10 minutes, I get very light headed, dizzy, and every thing turns white. Its leading me to believe my blood pressure is probably low or something. I really want to work out though, what can I do???

Btw, im not heavy or under weight. I am 21, weigh 125 and im 5’4”. So im pretty average health.

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15 Answers

Les's avatar

Whenever I haven’t had enough water during my day, my cardio workouts can get like that, too. So the first thing to check is that you’re drinking plenty of water. I live at 7200 feet, so I have to drink tons of water a day to be fit for my workout in the afternoon.

Glow's avatar

I usually take in a significant amount of water before the work out, but never during. I notice too much water makes me feel bloated and I get cramps easily.

Les's avatar

Well, just be sure you are drinking water throughout your day, and not just right before the workout, that won’t help much. Also, eat something before you workout. Your body may need a little help to keep it going during the workout.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

i use to have the same symptoms with avereage every day routine because i was dehydrated, i agree with the rest. i am really not a water drinker myself, i have to force myself. but you can’t function without it. and make sure you have some food in ya belly.i guess a well balanced meal will do.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

Could be you aren’t getting enough iron? or trying eating a banana..

Darwin's avatar

You might also check with your doctor. Dehydration is indeed a very common cause of low blood pressure, but low blood pressure can also be an indication of internal bleeding, weak heart, slow heart beat, Addison’s Disease, and even infection.

Especially if increasing your water intake doesn’t help, you need to be checked for other causes. The dizziness means you aren’t getting enough oxygen to your brain and so if it happens long enough or often enough it could cause brain damage,

My father started having low blood pressure problems – his was diagnosed as Sick Sinus Syndrome and was fixed by a pace-maker.

galileogirl's avatar

Your blood is carrying more oxygen to the muscles so the oxygen flow to the brain is slightly reduced which leaves you a little light-headed. That’s a warning from your body to stop. If you continue to exercise and and further reduce oxygen to the brain, your body will force you to stop by causing you to pass out and stop exercising.

cwilbur's avatar

I second the recommendation to check with your doctor. If you have low blood pressure, or you’re anemic, cardiovascular exercise is a bad idea; and if there’s something more serious wrong, it’s better to know than to not know.

Glow's avatar

I hope to see a doctor soon about it, but the last time I did she told me to drink more water, lol. And yes, I do try to increase water intake, which has also increased my bath room break frequency, which imo doesn’t look normal to me (people have commented on how often I have to use the bathroom)... >_> It doesnt seem to help which is why I feel it may be something else, especially since my mother was diagnosed with LBP. I’m worried that if I see the doc again, she will be of little help as usual :/ Its like they try to get in you in and out as frequently as they can, which I do not appreciate…

Ive always wished I could be one of those people who can run miles and never feel a weakness in their heart ): Maybe jogging is just not for me?

Darwin's avatar

Your doctor probably told you to drink more water because a) that is a common problem with many people, and b) it is the most common exercise-induced cause of low blood pressure. However, there are other causes and specific tests that can be run, including :

” * CBC (complete blood count). CBC may reveal anemia from blood loss or elevated white blood cells due to infection.

* Blood electrolyte measurements may show dehydration and mineral depletion, renal failure (kidney failure), or acidosis (excess acid in the blood).

* Cortisol levels can be measured to diagnose adrenal insufficiency and Addison’s disease.

* Blood and urine cultures can be performed to diagnose septicemia and bladder infections, respectively.

* Radiology studies, such as chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasounds, and computerized tomography (CT or CAT) scans may detect pneumonia, heart failure, gallstones, pancreatitis, and diverticulitis.

* Electrocardiograms (EKG) can detect abnormally slow or rapid heart beats, pericarditis, and heart muscle damage from either previous heart attacks or a reduced supply of blood to the heart muscle that has not yet caused a heart attack.

* Holter monitor recordings are used to diagnose intermittent episodes of abnormal heart rhythms. If abnormal rhythms occur intermittently, a standard EKG performed at the time of a visit to the doctor’s office may not show the abnormal rhythm. A Holter monitor is a continuous recording of the heart’s rhythm for 24 hours that often is used to diagnose intermittent episodes of bradycardia or tachycardia.

* Patient-activated event recorder. If the episodes of bradycardia or tachycardia are infrequent, a 24-hour Holter recording may not capture these sporadic episodes. In this situation, a patient can wear a patient-activated event recorder for up to four weeks. The patient presses a button to start the recording when he or she senses the onset of an abnormal heart rhythm or symptoms possibly caused by low blood pressure. The doctor then analyzes the recordings at a later date to identify the abnormal episodes.

* Echocardiograms are examinations of the structures and motion of the heart using ultrasound. Echocardiograms can detect pericardial fluid due to pericarditis, the extent of heart muscle damage from heart attacks, diseases of the heart valves, and rare tumors of the heart.

* Ultrasound examinations of the leg veins and CT scans of the chest can detect deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

* Tilt-Table tests are used to evaluate patients suspected of having postural hypotension or syncope due to abnormal autonomic nerves. During a tilt-table test, the patient lies on an examining table with an intravenous infusion administered while the heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. The table then is tilted upright for 15 minutes to 45 minutes. Heart rate and blood pressure are monitored every few minutes. The purpose of the test is to try to reproduce postural hypotension. Sometimes a doctor may administer epinephrine (Adrenalin, Isuprel) intravenously to induce postural hypotension.”

In your case, does your doctor know your mother has been diagnosed with LBP? What is the cause of your mother’s LBP? Have you tried documenting how much water you are drinking and sharing that with your doctor? These factors could change how your doctor approaches treating you.

As an example, I had a problem several years ago where my kidney numbers were off. The doctor kept telling me to drink more water. I did and told him so, but he still did nothing. However, when I kept a record of how much and when I was drinking water and showed it to him, he decided something else was going on. He sent me to a nephrologist who confirmed that my problem was not from dehydration but from a kidney problem. I looked at possible causes myself and tried one that was easy and wouldn’t hurt anything – I stopped taking the NSAIDs prescribed for arthritis pain (Naproxen and later Mobic) because they can irritate your kidneys. In my case this turned out to be the cause, and the nephrologist was quite shocked, saying that usually people with the creatinine level I was showing do not recover. So now my kidneys are fine but my joints hurt.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m with @Darwin on this one. This time, when you call to make the appointment, make certain you are requesting more time and blood tests with the doctor.

Have you been told you are Hypotensive? (Chronically have low blood pressure) Is this something that runs in your family? (Besides your mom’s LBP)

I am asking because I am hypotensive, and it runs in mine. If this is true for you, then there are steps you need to take pre & post workout. Including eating 20 mins prior to the workout, and drinking at least 16oz of water. Post workout, you may need to cool down longer, stretch and relax longer.

Post bath, I must SIT for about 5mins. Otherwise, I could faint.

You’ll need to document your symptoms better (as Darwin eloquently stated above).

I must say, that I can jog, but I must control the temperature, the length of the jog, the intensity-etc, or I WILL faint! I know my body well and sit whenever I sense my BP is lower than it should be for me to remain upright.

Glow's avatar

Wow, lots of great info! I guess I havent been talking enough to the doctor? I didnt really know what to say, she was determined that I needed to drink more water :/ Ill definitely bring some of the mentioned things up with her next time I speak… might have to write it down this time ^^;

Not sure if im hypotensive though. I know for sure there has to be something up with my blood pressure. Even when I get migraines that are really bad, my blood pressure drops significantly. Ive gotten light headed and dizzy while having a migraine sometimes too, which is odd. Hmmm. Im beginning to wonder if I should see a speacialist rather than the usual doctor, because usually she doesnt have much info, she’s only good at prescribing medication. Oh well. Thanks everyone!

MaggieRoara's avatar

Hey glow, i have the same problem as you. I get light headed after about 15 minutes of kickboxing. Until now i just kinda brished it off as me being unfit (hehe) but now i think its because i am dehydrated. Making myself drink more now, I take like a 5 minute water break every hour after breakfast ( I workout during my lunch break ) and drink about half cup water. Seems to help more. I also make sure i have enough glucose in my system before workout and take my asthma medication. Got an appointment to see a doc too, your post made me take it more seriously :) thanks alot! lets keep each other updated on how it goes.

aarond123456789's avatar

Hi Glow & Maggie,

I also have the same problems as you both, my stomach also feels sick if i drink too much water – I am going to try and drink more though before exercising to see if that helps – have either of you found the problem?

Many thanks,


Sylvixen's avatar

It’s been like 2 weeks that I’m feeling light headed & dizzy after my workout. I been working out for a while now I never had that problem before . I been postponing going to the doctor hoping it will go away but I think I’m going to have to make an appointment :(

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