How to Avoid Feeling Dizzy When Getting Off the Treadmill

Exhausted mid adult man on gym treadmill
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Do you sometimes feel dizzy when you end your treadmill workout and go to step off? This can be a safety concern, and you need to know how to prevent it.


Usually, when you feel dizzy after stepping off the treadmill, it‘s because you stopped too abruptly and didn’t give your body a chance to cool down. A cooldown after running keeps the blood flowing throughout the body. Stopping suddenly can cause lightheadedness because your heart rate and blood pressure drop rapidly. Winding down slowly allows your heart rate and blood pressure to fall gradually and safely.

Another factor is that your body has been sensing forward motion on the treadmill while the room around it remained stable. It's gotten used to that frame of reference. As when you're on a moving sidewalk or an escalator, it takes a moment to readjust to the change in the relationship. When you get off the treadmill, you are back to the usual situation of your body moving through the room as it senses motion.

Most of the time people make this transition with only a moment of disorientation. But with exercise and other factors, you may need a little longer to adjust. Just as with some people getting motion sickness, you may be more affected by this than other people. If you go slower at the end of your treadmill workout, the change will be less abrupt and you may tolerate it better.

Another factor which can contribute to dizziness is dehydration. If you haven't been drinking before and during your workout, make sure you are drinking enough.

How to Do a Cooldown on the Treadmill

  • After the work portion of your run, slow down the treadmill to 3.5 mph. Jog slowly for 5 minutes. You should feel your heart rate and breath both slowing down.
  • Slow the treadmill to 3.0 mph and walk for three to five minutes.
  • If you're worried about treadmill time limits at your gym and you just don't have enough time for a 10-minute cooldown, you should at least walk briskly for three to five minutes before stepping off the treadmill.
  • After a cooldown is a great time to do post-run stretches or yoga.

Use Safety Precautions

That small spell of dizziness is a good reminder of why it is important to use safety precautions on the treadmill. You should start the treadmill belt at a slow speed before you get on, to prevent being jerked off balance if it was set to start at a high speed. Always attach the emergency stop cord so the treadmill will stop if you trip or become faint. Ensure that the belt stops before you get off the treadmill. Hold onto the railings when getting off the treadmill. Ensure that nothing has rolled over to the area or been dropped that you might trip over.

Still Feeling Dizzy?

If you feel dizzy after running even after you’ve done a proper cooldown, there may be something else going on, so talk about your symptoms with your healthcare provider. It's possible that you are feeling the effects of low blood sugar, dehydration, anemia, high blood pressure, medications, inner ear problems, or heart disorders. This is a good cue to get a full physical checkup to make sure you find any underlying problems.

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