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Exercise Dos and Don’ts for People with Vertigo

Vertigo is the sensation that you are spinning, moving, or shifting, or the space around you is. People with mild vertigo experience slight disorientation; it’s barely noticeable. However, for some people, vertigo can be so severe that they struggle to maintain their balance and perform everyday tasks.

If you have vertigo, you may be familiar with the importance of exercise. When patients perform repetitive movements, they can train their brain and body to overcome the signals of vertigo. However, certain exercise habits can do more harm than good. In this blog, we’ll offer a closer look at the right way to exercise with vertigo.

1. Do Eat Two to Three Hours Before Exercising

When you exercise, your body breaks down sugar molecules to create energy and power your muscles. If you exercise without fueling your body, you’ll run on a low glucose supply. As a result, your blood sugar levels will drop, resulting in hypoglycemia. Your vertigo will feel worse. Avoid this by consuming a healthy meal before you exercise. Load up on healthy foods like proteins and green vegetables while minimizing processed, packaged, refined, and fast foods.

2. Don’t Exercise Without Staying Hydrated

a woman and man walking while he drinks water after his workout

When you exercise, your body releases sweat. As fluid and minerals are carried out of your body, you can easily get dehydrated and trigger your vertigo. Make up for the loss of fluid and essential minerals by staying hydrated. Drink water before, while, and after you exercise—especially during warm weather, when you perspire more.

3. Do Switch Exercises Regularly

Vertigo can be triggered when a person engages in repetitive movements for too long. Make sure this doesn’t happen by switching exercises to avoid any sort of repetitive motion. If you’re on the treadmill for too long, switch to the elliptical machine, and so on.

4. Don’t Overdo It

If you push yourself too hard, your symptoms may worsen. Avoid overexerting yourself. If you overdo it, you’ll feel lightheaded, develop shortness of breath, and feel overwhelmed. Take it easy and develop your own pace. What works for someone else may not work for you. Once you understand how your body responds to certain exercises and machines, you’ll be able to fine-tune your exercise routine accordingly.

Exercising with vertigo can be a bit tricky. Be very careful and take it easy, but not too easy. Find the right balance and stick to it. Trial and error will help you figure out what works best for you.

Are you looking for an experienced otolaryngologist/ENT doctor in Webster, Texas? At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we treat vertigo with vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT). As an exercise-based program, VRT helps with vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, visual disturbance, and frequent falls.

Visit our ENT webpage to learn more and scroll down the page to find a doctor who’s right for you. If you’ve already been diagnosed, you can make an appointment with one of our three physical therapy locations offering VRT: HPH Main Campus location, the Neuroscience Rehabilitation Clinic which is in our Aquatic Care Houston location, and our Bellaire Physical Therapy location.

Our hospital also treats a range of other conditions, including back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and bruised hip bone, among other injuries, disorders, and symptoms. If you have any questions, we’re always happy to help.