Whether from soaring temperatures or current events, we’re more likely than ever to have dizzy spells — but they can be avoided.
Blame dehydration, the strain of adjusting between air-conditioned indoors, and steamy outdoors — plus breathing changes that occur with stress, which all tinker with the brain’s balance control center.
Here’s some easy tips to stay steady on your feet.
Hold your breath.
Taking deep breaths is a popular remedy for light-headedness, but an even better bet is holding your breath. UCLA researchers say when you breathe rapidly — whether from stress or climbing the stairs — you exhale lots of carbon dioxide, a chemical your brain needs to keep you steady on your feet. Sit down and hold your breath for as long as comfortable and your carbon dioxide levels could rise, and your dizziness could end, in as little as 30 seconds!
Refresh with an icy treat.
Thirsty? Reach for something tastier than plain water or a sports drink. According to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, milk-laced sips do a better job of restoring fluid balance and ending dizziness! Explains study co-author Sam Oliver, PhD, milk contains carbohydrates, amino acids and potassium, nutrients that encourage water absorption in the digestive system.
Try an ancient extract.
Wobbly when you stand or turn your head quickly? Ginkgo biloba can help! Research in the International Journal of Otolaryngology suggests 240 mg. of this ancient tree extract daily boosts balance and stability by as much as 60%. Explains study co-author Rob Hoerr, MD, ginkgo increases healing blood flow to your inner ear’s balance center.
Try: Life Extension Ginkgo Biloba Certified Extract (LEF.com/WW)
Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
A little salt works wonders.
That dash of salt you sprinkled on your eggs is just as effective at preventing dehydration and dizziness as pricey electrolyte drinks and home remedies like pickle juice! Canadian researchers say our renewed focus on home-cooked meals can lead to a 50 percent drop in sodium intake, yet 1/2 tsp. of this mineral daily helps us retain fluids, instead of losing them in urine.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.