Lightheadedness During Upper Body Workouts

Improve your workout strategy to reduce lightheadedness.

Improve your workout strategy to reduce lightheadedness.

Upper body strengthening is important to improve your health and self esteem. But it can be challenging sticking to your routine when you feel lightheaded. Lightheadedness is your body's way of telling you that it needs something or that something is out of line. By learning how to exercise your upper body safely, you can diminish lightheadedness and continue toning your arms and shoulders so you'll look stunning in that strapless dress.

Dehydration

One of the main causes of lightheadedness during a workout is dehydration. For most people, a simple hydration plan can reduce these symptoms. Drink at least two glasses of water four hours prior to exercise and at least one more cup just before your workout. As you exercise, take a drink of water at least every 15 minutes of exercise, but try not drink more than two glasses per hour. During the first hour, drink water, but if you are really trying to burn off those calories and continue for a second hour, switch to an electrolyte beverage. Continue to hydrate after your workout and throughout the day to prepare for your next time exercising.

Limited Caloric Intake

Food is the main energy source for your body and so doing one of those extreme diets or starving yourself prior to a workout is not a good idea and could cause lightheadedness. Talk to your doctor -- or better yet, the hot trainer at the gym -- to establish a safe calorie target for your fitness goals. Eat a small snack just prior to your routine and keep a snack with you, such as your favorite granola bar or piece of fruit, to eat during your exercise if you feel lightheaded. Plan to workout two to four hours after your last meal.

Breathing

Ramp up your exercise by raising your arms above your head to enter aerobic intensity, which will make you winded and help you shed those unwanted pounds. Don't hold your breath or you will turn blue. No, seriously, your blood oxygen level can drop and this could cause your lightheadedness. Don't forget to breath out fully and slowly to rid your body of toxins and carbon dioxide.

Overexertion

Although it can be tempting to push your body to the limit to make up for eating that slice of chocolate cake, overexertion can cause dizziness too. Change up the length, repetitions, resistance or weight of your routine to lower the intensity and plan rest breaks when you are winded or feeling the burn. Gradually work your way up to higher intensity over time, making small adjustments at a time to reduce unwanted side effects.

 

Resources

About the Author

Melissa Sabo is an occupational therapist who started writing professional guidebooks for all Flagship Rehabilitation employees in 2009. Specializing in applied therapy and exercise for non-medical readers, she also coauthored a manual on wheelchair positioning. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy.

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