How to Avoid Feeling Dizzy After Using the Treadmill

woman's heels and lower calves walking on a treadmill
Come to a slow stop to avoid feeling dizzy when you step off the treadmill.

by Mary Lambkin

If you're a runner (whether experienced or amateur), you should feel strong and confident after logging a few miles — not dizzy and disoriented. Unfortunately, a solid treadmill workout can quickly run off course if you find yourself feeling nauseated or weak the second you step off the machine. If you're accustomed to running outdoors and find yourself feeling dizzy after using the treadmill, learn about why this might behappening and how to prevent it. May you enjoy many strong miles ahead!

Slow Down Gradually

Feeling dizzy after using the treadmill is caused by a disconnect between your body and brain — your brain thinks that you're moving forward in space, but your body is actually staying in the same place (with its legs moving). Similar to how you often need to take an extra step or two to find your balance after getting off an escalator or moving walkway, you'll need to adjust after a treadmill run comes to an end.

The best way to get your body and brain back in sync is to slow down gradually. Reduce your speed over the course of five minutes until you reach a slow walk. That way, the adjustment from running on a moving belt to standing on solid ground won't feel so jarring.

Stay Strong and Focused

If you find yourself feeling dizzy during or after a treadmill run, try focusing on a stationary object in front of you and reducing sensory input, such as TV screens, books and other media, that overstimulates your eyes and ears. If you continue to feel disoriented, hold onto the treadmill handlebars for additional support as you slow down or stop the run entirely. This should help reduce motion sickness and allow your body to readjust to its surroundings.

Drink Up

Although most of the sensation you're feeling after stepping off the treadmill is because of sensory disorientation, dehydration can contribute to dizziness and fatigue. Make sure to drink up before your workout, and take advantage of the cup holders available on most treadmills. A few sips of water or a sports drink every mile will help keep you powering through your run — all the way to the final steps.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you gain confidence and reduce the amount of motion sickness you experience during your next treadmill run. Talk to a doctor if your symptoms don't improve. Your body should get the hang of treadmill running in no time, and your brain will shape up, too!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.