Why Do I feel Dizzy During or After a Workout, feeling dizzy whilst exercising, why does exercise make me feel dizzy, womens fitness, fitness for over forties, online gym, exercise for women

Feeling Dizzy During Or After Exercise?

Feeling dizzy during or after exercise is something that should not be ignored.  There can be several reasons why this can occur, so it's important not to assume that exercise itself is the culprit.

The Culprits:

Low blood Sugar

Skipping breakfast and exercising in the morning can deprive the body of sufficient fuel to carry it through a workout. Eating a small snack an hour before the gym, will help keep blood sugar stabilised.  Good options are:
A banana, apple or other fresh fruit.
Fruit smoothie.
A whole-grain bagel or crackers.
A healthy snack is especially important if you plan a workout several hours after a meal.


Taking on fluids before, during and after exercise will ensure the body is sufficiently hydrated.  Adequate hydration is especially important if exercising in the morning as the body will be low on fluids after a nights sleep.

If we are not hydrated and then lose more fluid via sweating, it can effect both physical and mental performance in the following ways:
An Increased heart rate.
Impaired body heat regulation.
Reduced energy levels.
Increased perceived exertion, we will mentally believe exercise to be harder than when our bodies have enough fluid.

Guidelines suggets that 6-8 glasses of fluid per day are needed to keep the body hydrated.  This will differ from person to person, depending on climate, activity, gender and size.


It's common for people to use different breathing patterns when exercising.  This can lead to the body taking in less oxygen and not letting carbon dioxide out, resulting in light headiness.

During rest periods instead of puffing and panting to get the oxygen your body needs, try breathing deeply through the belly, using the diagram to fill and empty the abdomen with each breath.

With practice it's possible to synchronise breathing with the activity being performed.  For example during cardio try breathing in for 3 seconds and exhaling for 2.  Breathing in a continuous manner will increase nitric oxide, a gas that helps relax arteries aiding the blood flow around the body.

If you are struggling to control your breathing and it becomes too rapid, take a break until it is under control.

Over Exertion

Are you exercising within your current fitness levels, if the intensity is too high the heart will struggle to meet the demands placed upon it, which amongst other things can lead to a feeling of...  you guessed it... dizziness.

The target heart rate for moderate exercise is 50-70% of your maximum heart rate.  To reach an estimate of this subtract your age from 220.
For example a 50 year old would use the following calculation:
220-50 = 170 beats per minute( bpm) maximum heart rate and 50-70% level would be:
170x0.50= 85 bpm target heart rate
170x0.70=119 bpm target heart rate
So the target heart rate for a 50 year old women performing moderate exercise should be 85-119bpm.

Another way to assess physical exertion is with RPE (rated perceived exertion) on a 0-10 scale, 0 being motionless, 6 being moderate and 10 is maxed out.

A quick way to tell immediately if you are exercising within a range that is suitable for your fitness level, is if you can still manage to carry out a conversation.

High blood pressure

When the heart beats it pumps blood around the body to deliver energy and oxygen.  As the blood moves it pushes against the side of the vessels.  The force of this pushing is blood pressure.  There are various factors that can contribute to high blood pressure, such as diet, weight, activity levels and stress.  When it becomes high it may cause damage and stretch the arteries, leading to strokes, aneurysms and heart attacks.  Some people are not aware that they have high blood pressure, so if you do experience dizziness whilst exercising and it is not due to any obvious reason, it is vitally important for long term health to seek an opinion from a Doctor.  Regular exercise can help reduce blood pressure by encouraging the heart to become stronger, helping it to pump blood with less effort, decreasing the force on the arteries, therefore lowering blood pressure.  Those suffering with blood pressure issues should only perform exercise with medical permission and guidance.

Blood Pooling

When we exercise our heart pumps faster and harder increasing cardiac output, this action increases blood flow of oxygenated blood to the working muscles.  Once the oxygen and nutrients have been used up by the active tissue, the blood must be returned to the heart for re-oxygenation, this is known as venous return.

When there is an abrupt cessation of exercise, the force from the muscle contractions which was helping to push blood back around the body to the heart also stops.  This sudden drop in blood pressure creates blood pooling in the extremities and a disrupted flow of oxygenated blood to the brain leading to a feeling of .... dizziness.

It's vital to include a cool down to ensure you slowly return the heart to its resting rate.  For instance if you are running, slow to a walk this allows the muscles in the legs to carry on contracting.   This will aid the blood flow around the body and avoid it pooling in lower extremities.

Seeking Medical Advice

If you experience dizziness and it's due to over exertion take a break.  If it's caused by dehydration or low blood sugar, take on board fluid and eat a small snack.  If the dizziness continues and is accompanied by pains in the chest, jaw or arms - stop exercising, keep your head above the heart to ensure adequate blood flow around the body and call for medical help.

Catherine, Boditone member

Trials and Tribulations of a Boditone Member – 2nd Installment


Catherine was one of the first people to become a Boditone member, she has very graciously agreed to share her journey on finding a longer term solution for her fitness. We think Catherine's story will really resonate with our members and those of you who follow us on social media. Catherine is a 37 year old mum of two, she works part time as a Research Associate, writing programmes to challenge sexism and gender inequality in schools. Catherine has flirted with her fitness goals over the years, favouring sporadic intensity over progressive longevity. She's tried kickboxing, aerobics, running, gym membership and every other class in-between. The only thing to stick is swimming, however it's not enough on it's own to stop the weight creeping back on. Catherine's fitness goals are about consistency and sustainability now, which is why she's joined Boditone.

Part Two Of My Journey.

So you know all that deeply empowering stuff I said about being fine with the way I am? Well today I'm just not feeling it. The core of my self-confidence, which stems from logic and understanding that perpetually measuring yourself next to unachievable, frankly destructive norms only serves to fester a sense of inadequacy, remains intact - however, on days like today, the distance between my actual self and my ideal self seems that much wider.


When I open that door to self doubt the illumination hits the shadows of my body image and seems to catch on every flaw. I notice the way my body seems to lack definition, even though I spent the morning swimming in an outdoor lake and my thighs still ache from the lowerbodi workout I did the day before. I think about how far I've got to go before I reach that physical 'ideal' and the sheer 'cost' of energy and time (both of which I feel a distinct lack of). I think of how many times I've worked towards shifting that weight, learning a new sport or increasing my fitness and how many times I've started again. And again. I think about that fact that I'm approaching 40. I think about the pizza and wine I've just had for tea.


It's easy to get dizzy on this negative spiral. The view becomes blurred and all those individual feelings begin to feed one another. They become co-dependent, inevitable. I can't see where one negative ideal starts and the other ends. As they swirl around relentlessly that core strength of mine (I'm talking metaphorical here. Planks are still not my friend) is blinking furiously, trying to keep the sand of self-doubt from being kicked up in its eye.


I've been here enough times to know that the sandstorm dies down eventually. I reason with myself, increasing the volume on my logical side (it's very convincing and well-informed), yet still there's the sense that I could look and be so much better than I am.


Ironically my job is all about challenging gender norms. I lead interventions in secondary schools to challenge the ideals of femininity and masculinity. I argue that stereotyping 'feminine women' as 'beautiful' and 'masculine men' as 'strong' negates the importance of intelligence in one and emotion in the other. By placing our emphasis or sense of self on one ideal, regardless of gender, we do ourselves a disservice.


As women, this ideal can stop us from celebrating our own body shape and all the other countless things about us that make us who we are. We are all so wonderfully different and I, for one, see the beauty in that. So why can't I see it in myself?


This is where gathering a community of like-minded women around you can be so important. It can be any number and of any origin. Social media connects us in an impatient, hungry way, however that doesn't mean it has no substance. The media will have us believe that women are in competition with each other. That we judge one-another on our hair, relationships, weight, status and dress sense. My experiences couldn't be more different.


A group of near strangers on the boditone Facebook page told me I was doing well when I was feeling frustrated with my level of exercise. We all regularly post to share our workouts, what we've done and how we felt and we are all met with a resounding wall of encouragement and support.


Tomorrow I'm having my first fitness test after starting up with boditone in February.


"I hope I haven't let you down" I text to Sarah (thinking of that pizza and wine)


"You could never let me down" was the reply.


Sometimes the reflection of ourselves in another's eyes is just enough to calm the storm.



boditone team workout, flat belly workout, womens fitness

Is A Flat Belly Really Possible? Here are our Hints and Tips To Help You Achieve A Flatter Stomach.

Is A Flat Belly Really Possible?

Well yes of course it is, for lots of people, unfortunately for me, that's never been quite the case.  My stomach seems to be a fat magnet.  I've got a short torso and long legs, so when I put on weight I tend to look like a lemon on toothpicks.

My stomach is always going to be my problem area, no matter what I do, I can't seem to regain my pre-pregnancy shape - I know give it time.  Is 16 years long enough?  Yes after all that time I am still battling to get a flatter stomach.  I have toyed with the idea of surgery to repair some of the damaged muscles, I just can't face it, the risks, the recovery and what if I'm not happy with the result.

In pursuit of my abs I have learnt a few lessons, some I am better at implementing than others, hopefully you will find these tips helpful if you are also trying to find the route to a flatter stomach.

Whole Body Approach.

A jelly belly is not just down to lack of muscle, excess body fat also has a part to play.  Now don't go rushing off doing 100's of crunches and spending hours in the plank position.  Working on one area will not remove the wobble from that region, sadly fat cannot be spot reduced.  Revealing your abs is going to involve working the whole body, routines using core based exercises such as bear crawl or mountain climber utilise multiple muscle groups.  This will make your heart work harder, giving you a greater calorie burn, which in turn will help reduce fat levels.

Ramp Up Your Workouts With HIIT.

Exercise for me is not a problem, I am one of those awful people, who actually enjoy it.  I usually go for a mixture of strength/boxing style routines and HIIT.

Here's the sales bit (although I do really believe it is beneficial).

Bodifit is a cardio routine for all levels of fitness, using the principles of HIIT training (high-intensity interval training) to fluctuate the heart rate.  This workout combines high-intensity periods of activity with low-intensity recovery periods, making it a very effective fat burning workout, encouraging the body to burn calories while maintaining muscle mass for optimal results.  This type of exercise will suit all fitness levels and abilities, there is no excuse not to give this a go, most people can manage 30" of exercise if they know a break is coming.

Healthy Diet.

Now I can't preach to you on this subject (katie is the clean eater), I am most definitely not perfect when it comes to food.  Ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen ".  This is where I am going wrong, in order to reveal my efforts in the gym I need to eat a cleaner diet.  After all what's the point in working out, if I am going to come home and eat a packet of M&M's.  What I am trying to say is don't waste your hard work by eating rubbish.  All joking aside I am a lot better at ditching the junk food than I used to be and enjoy the results of that in most areas of my body - just need to be really good, to get rid of my stubborn belly fat (caused by excess M&M consumption).

I think we all know deep down what our food culprits are and this can vary from person to person.  My best advice for eating a healthier diet is to tackle one area at a time, making small changes will make them easier to maintain long term.  That could be drinking more water, eating more fruit, cutting out some of the bad stuff in your diet, including more home cooked meals.  I know the home cooking is easier said than done. Not being the worlds best chef I have found that the slow cooker is my saviour.  I really don't enjoy cooking in the evening, I am usually too tired or busy being a taxi driver for my kids.  I would much rather get up a bit earlier and chuck the ingredients in the pot.  I now have some tried and tested slow cooker recipes that are easy to prepare, the whole family will eat and are healthy (ish). I used to rely on far too many processed ready meals, these tend to contain a lot of sugar and sodium.  Too much sodium in your diet, can lead to dehydration, causing your body to retain water, which in turn will make you look and feel bloated.

Drink More

No I am not talking wine, I mean more water.  The last thing you probably want to do if you are feeling bloated is to drink water.  However the bloating you are feeling might be down to lack of fluids, your body will retain water to prevent dehydration.  Water retention causes bloating.  To prevent water retention and bloating it will actually help to drink more water - the recommended amount is 2ltrs per day.


Well I don't get enough sleep, it's all very well to be told to try and get 7-8 hours , wind down, relax, shut off the phones/iPads etc.  In reality that doesn't happen, by the time most of us sit down in the evening, there is no time to 'wind down" and an hour searching the Internet for random rubbish is when we relax.

Having kids has put paid to me ever having a full nights sleep, after years of being woken up by children I have never managed to regain a good sleep pattern.  Now in my 40's, I seem to have the delightful prequel to what I guess will be the menopause, a bit of insomnia mixed with occasional night sweats.

Lack of sleep can play havoc with your metabolism, triggering the release of the hormone cortisol.  This is a stress hormone which comes into play when your body believes it is in a time of famine, it was traditionally utilised to protect your body when food was scarce.  So even though we now have plenty of eat, cortisol does not distinguish between lack of food or sleep as a source of stress.  It tells your body to slow down until the crisis has passed, encouraging the conversion of blood sugar into fat for long term storage.  Lack of sleep can also increase the hunger hormone ghrelin, making your body think it's hungry, encouraging you to eat more than you actually need.

We are more susceptible to making bad food choices when we are tired, usually picking something sugary as a pick me up.  We might also feel less inclined to move as much, due to lack of energy.  So as you can see a good nights sleep really is important in maintaining a healthy body.

There is plenty of advice out there about what food and what routines will help to enhance your sleep, I have tried a few and nothing really works for me, so unfortunately I don't have a magic formula for you.  I try not to get stressed by my disturbed sleep, otherwise it leads to a vicious circle of thinking about how many hours sleep I'm missing out on, resulting in even more hours spent awake instead of sleeping.  Maybe I can blame my less than perfect stomach on lack of sleep rather than excess M&M consumption after all.

I'm Not Sure How To Break It to You.

I have saved this bit until last, as I know you will want to stop reading as soon as I mention cutting back on alcohol. Before you run away, I just wanted to let you know, that your favourite tipple might be the culprit for your jiggly belly.  I know this is painful to hear, you might just need to cut back a little on your weekly consumption to help you in your pursuit of a flatter stomach.

Everyone talks about the empty calories in alcohol and assumes switching to a vodka and Diet Coke is a good option. What you might not realise is, it's not just down to the calories consumed that contribute to weight gain.

When alcohol is consumed it can impare liver function, making it difficult to cleanse the blood of excess oestrogen. Raised Oestrogen can cause insulin problems, instead of pushing glucose towards your liver and muscles, it leaves higher sugar levels in the blood stream which can lead to your body storing glucose as fat. Oestrogen dominance can be caused by diet/lifestyle/health issues.

Plus if you are anything like me, you have probably made some really bad food choices after one to many - kebab anyone? now that's not going to help reduce the wobble.

Boditone ladies working out with weights

The benefits of using weights in your workout

Using weights in your workout plays and important part in bringing about real changes in the way your body looks and functions.

If you are spending hours in the gym, but wondering why you still have not achieved the lean, toned physique you have been working for, we can help. The secret lies in strength training.  I know this might make some of you think we want to encourage you to become too big or muscly.  I promise that is not what we want for you either.  Our aim is to give you the best possible chance to bring about real changes in the way your body looks and functions.

Traditionally women have spent more time on cardio, not realising the many benefits that strength training can bring them.  Hopefully we can remedy that and encourage you to try some of our weighted workouts, which we believe can contribute significantly to the fit, lean body you desire.

Lifting heavy weights  - you can go heavier!

Unless you are a complete beginner you need to be lifting about 75-80 percent of what you could possibly manage. By lifting heavy you will be pushing your muscles to the point they want to give up – where you literally cannot do one more repetition.  The reason for working at this intensity is to help you create lean muscle.

Using weights in your workout will help to create lean muscle

This is achieved by lifting weights, creating micro tears, which in turn repair and build lean tissue, replacing flab with toned hard muscle.  Don’t panic no Arnies here – you would have to be following a very specific diet and training regime – we won’t be doing this style of training. We don’t want to turn women into bodybuilders, we are aiming to help them realise that muscle is vital to how their bodies look, a pound of muscle takes up less space within our bodies than a pound of fat.

Muscles are efficient fat burners

Yes you can lose weight by doing just cardio, however if you want to achieve and maintain a toned, lean body, then strength training is a must.

Creating lean muscle tissue makes our bodies much more efficient fat burners.  Lean muscles use more calories than fat, even when your body is at rest.  Yes we know that gaining muscle won’t necessarily result in weight reduction, this is why we feel inch loss is more important.  Scales may be disheartening and not really show the changes that have taken place within your body or be a true reflection of how your body looks once you have replaced fat with lean muscle.

Health benefits of using weights in your workout

Working with weights not only improves our performance and the way we look, it also plays an important role in how our bodies function and has been proven to benefit our health in many ways:

  • Improved muscle strength.
  • Weight management.
  • Improved posture.
  • Increased bone density.
  • Protection of joints from injury.
  • Increased muscle to fat ratio.


We are not all about the weights and yes of course  cardio should play an important part within your workouts. To give you the best route to a healthier body we believe a varied exercise programme is the key to success.