How does MAV effect you when exercising?

I was wondering if others have a problem with exercise like I do.
From Dec. - Jun. I was working really hard to eat healthy and exercise so I could lose weight after an injury. I lost 50 pounds during that time. After having to get around on crutches, I was very determined to meet that goal despite the horrible vestibular symptoms it created for me. I started off slow working with a PT until Mar. while recovering from a broken ankle, sprained ankle, and 2 injured knees. I didn’t tell the PT about the extent of the dizzy sx either. The dizzy sx progressed as the exercise time increased and what I describe next is where I was by about Feb and March. I stopped working in March because of the dizziness.

Typically after riding the stationary bike for 30-45 minutes my head spins fast for at least a good 10 - 15 minutes and then I’m still dizzy and off balance for up to another 30 minutes sometimes longer. During that time I usually use the weight machines for the legs, but everytime I change machines my head would continue spinning. On days I didn’t work out with weights I rode the bike in the morning and walked an hour in the evening. Some days I worked out for 20 - 30 minutes on the elliptical and that created even longer spinning symptoms. I worked out 5-6 days a week and went to yoga classes 2 - 3X a week. During most of this time I had no idea all this exercise also increased the constant daily dizzy symptoms I had and the groggy yucky mornings. I was extremely fatigued, always nauseous and needed to nap often during the week. I think it was also responsible for the middle of the night spontaneous spinning attacks I had that woke me from a dead sleep that lasted sometimes for up to an hour.

I was finally given a clue as to what the exercise was doing to my vestibular system on the Dizzynews web site in Apr. Tom B (director of a balance cntr) and Ann K. (a VRT therapist) both answer post and said I was preventing my vestibular system from compensating and making things worse. The first neurotologist I saw in May I asked about the exercise problem (just to guage his level of expertise) and he offered absolutely no input. He should have at least cautioned me to slow it down or explained about compensation, but he didn’t. Anyway, at that point I still wasn’t quite ready to give up my goal because I needed to be in shape for my upcoming trip to Europe. I started to slow down on the exercise off and on from May thru Jun and then went on vacation the month of July.

Slowing down on the exercise is when I began to see a decrease in the 24/7 nausea and I was then nauseous 4-6 hours instead of 24/7. While on vacation I still did a lot of walking, climbed a lot of stairs, and was constantly active and exposed to a lot of visual and motion stimulation which provoked my sx still, but not to the extent of the cardio exercise so I still had a lot of nausea and dizziness to contend with…at least 4 hours a day still…I drank lots of ginger ale.

Now I’ve been home a month and trying to exercise again without provoking the sx to the previous level. I still have about 70 - 80 pounds more to lose. The VRT therapist and Tom cautioned me to keep the cardio to 15 min. and gradually increase by 5 min. if it doesn’t provoke symptoms for more than 15 minutes. I did this the first few weeks 2 - 3 times a week, along w/weights for 30 min, and yoga for an hour sometimes all on the same day or the yoga on a different day. I have stayed away from the ellipitical still since that was always the machine that provoked symptoms the most. Many times I was still very tired that day or for up to 2 days after working out. Now I’ve had 3-4 workouts where I’m up to 30 min. on the bike again and it’s increasing the spinning/dizziness past the 15 min sx and I know I need to back off and it frustrates me. It’s hard to lose weight if you can’t exercise much…the exercise helps keep me motivated to eat better as well…Do others with MAV have as difficult a time with exercise?

I’ve also had the exercise bring on a headache at different times too. Does that happen to you too?

I’ve noticed the weight machines that work the upper body (shoulders, arms, abs) cause me dizziness, but not the ones that work the legs. I’m not sure if it’s just the position the head is in or something else. Does anyone else notice this?

Walking up a flight stairs makes my head spin for a minute too and can cause nausea, but I’m not out of breath or anything. Is that a common MAV problem too?

I was just wondering if others have as much trouble with exercise as I seem too.

Sorry this was such a long post, but sometimes it helps to get a clear picture.


I use to work at a health club and the machines that make me dizzy are the aerobic and the upper arms. I noticed the very first time I got dizzy I was on the treadmill, I got off and the dizziness went away. I was fine if I stayed off the treadmill. Walking to much will do it for me too. I can’t do upper body any longer as I have cervical disc problems. Motion, I have read can trigger migraine. If I’m not so symptomatic I can get away with it.


I have found that I cannot excersise in a horizontal position such as push ups or bench presses. I bought a weight machine so that I can do all excersises vertical. Arobic excersises can cause me problems if I push myself to hard.