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Understanding Why New Gym Goers May Feel Nauseous During Training

By: Nazirah M. Jones, MS., CPT-NASM

Embarking on a fitness journey is an exciting endeavor that promises numerous health benefits. However, for some newcomers to the gym, the experience can be a bit overwhelming, especially when unexpected symptoms like nausea occur during training sessions. While it may seem alarming, experiencing nausea during exercise is not uncommon, particularly for those who are just starting out. In this blog, we'll delve into the reasons why new gym goers may feel nauseous during training and provide tips on how to mitigate this discomfort.

  1. Poor Nutrition: One of the primary reasons new gym goers may feel nauseous during training is inadequate nutrition. Eating too much or too little before a workout, consuming heavy or greasy foods, or not staying hydrated can all contribute to feelings of nausea. It's essential to fuel your body properly with a balanced meal containing carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats a few hours before exercising. Additionally, staying hydrated before, during, and after your workout is crucial for optimal performance and to prevent nausea.

  2. Intense Workouts: Beginners often push themselves too hard during their initial gym sessions, thinking that more intense workouts will yield quicker results. However, overexertion can lead to nausea, dizziness, and even vomiting. It's essential to start gradually and progressively increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your fitness level improves. Listen to your body's signals and take breaks when necessary to avoid overwhelming yourself.

  3. Poor Breathing Technique: Proper breathing technique is often overlooked by new gym goers but is essential for optimizing performance and preventing nausea. Holding your breath or breathing shallowly can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, causing feelings of dizziness and nausea. Focus on maintaining steady and rhythmic breathing throughout your workout, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling fully through your mouth.

  4. Low Blood Sugar Levels: Engaging in strenuous exercise without adequate glycogen stores in the body can lead to low blood sugar levels, also known as hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include nausea, weakness, shakiness, and lightheadedness. To prevent this, consume a light snack containing carbohydrates and protein before your workout, such as a banana with peanut butter or a yogurt parfait.

  5. Anxiety and Stress: The gym environment can be intimidating for newcomers, leading to feelings of anxiety and stress, which may manifest as nausea during training. Fear of judgment, performance anxiety, or simply feeling out of place can contribute to these feelings. It's essential to remember that everyone starts somewhere, and most people at the gym are focused on their own workouts rather than judging others. Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, or listening to calming music can help alleviate anxiety and reduce feelings of nausea.

  6. Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake before and during exercise can lead to dehydration, which can exacerbate feelings of nausea and dizziness. Sweating during workouts causes the body to lose water and electrolytes, so it's crucial to replenish these fluids regularly. Aim to drink water before, during, and after your workout, especially if you're engaging in intense or prolonged exercise.

In conclusion, experiencing nausea during training is a common occurrence for many new gym goers and can be attributed to various factors such as poor nutrition, intense workouts, improper breathing technique, low blood sugar levels, anxiety, and dehydration. By addressing these factors and adopting healthy habits, such as proper nutrition, gradual progression in exercise intensity, and staying hydrated, you can minimize the likelihood of feeling nauseous during your workouts and make your fitness journey a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. Remember to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and seek medical attention if you experience persistent or severe symptoms of nausea during exercise.


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