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The 10 Best Exercises For Dizziness: How to Stay Safe and Get Relief

Dizziness can be an unsettling or alarming experience for some people. For others, it can be a more serious and a very disabling condition, making it difficult to work or perform everyday activities.

Fortunately, there are exercises that can help improve your dizziness symptoms and help you feel more like yourself again.

In this article, we will discuss the best exercises for dizziness and how they can help you feel steady, get relief from the symptoms, and stay safe!

What are the best exercises for dizziness?

There are a number of exercises that can help to relieve dizziness.

One of the best exercises for dizziness, especially for symptoms of vertigo (a spinning, tilting, or whirling sensation), is the Epley maneuver. This exercise helps to reposition crystals in the inner ear that has become dislodged.

Another effective exercise is the Brandt-Daroff exercise, which helps to promote fluid movement in the inner ear. 

However, if you are unfamiliar with those exercises, they can be complicated or downright scary if done without expert supervision. Instead, in this article, I will share with you exercises that you can do at home that are effective but simple enough to follow.

The best exercises for dizziness are:

  1. Side-to-Side Head Motion, Eyes Open
  2. Up and Down Head Motion, Eyes Open
  3. Side-to-Side Head Motion, Eyes Closed
  4. Up and Down Head Motion, Eyes Closed
  5. Smooth Pursuit in Sitting
  6. Saccades in Sitting
  7. Gaze Stabilization in Sitting
  8. Smooth Pursuit in Standing
  9. Saccades in Standing
  10. Gaze Stabilization in Standing

Take back your confidence and banish your fear of falling! Get my QUICK and EASY Guide to Improving Your Balance for free here.

Side-to-Side Head Motion, Eyes Open

best exercises for dizziness including side to side head motion with eyes open
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor, hands resting on your lap or chair.
  • Move your head from one side to the other at a speed you are comfortable with.
  • Keep your eyes open as you focus on objects from side to side.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise will improve your ability to control your eye movements as you move your head from side to side, reducing episodes of dizziness or loss of balance when you look or move your head from side to side.

Up and Down Head Motion, Eyes Open

exercises to ease dizziness: up and down head motion with eyes open
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor, hands resting on your lap or chair.
  • Move your head to look up and down at a speed you are comfortable with.
  • Keep your eyes open as you focus on objects from the floor to the ceiling.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise will improve your ability to control your eye movements as you move your head up and down, reducing episodes of dizziness or loss of balance when you look or move your head up and down. 

Side-to-Side Head Motion, Eyes Closed

best exercises for dizziness including side to side head motion with eyes closed
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor, hands resting on your lap or chair.
  • With your eyes closed, move your head from one side to the other at a speed you are comfortable with.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Why should you do this exercise? By eliminating your visual feedback, you sharpen your sense of touch and inner ear systems to help keep your balance when you move your head or look side-to-side in a low-light situation. 

Up and Down Head Motion, Eyes Closed

Best exercises for dizziness: up and down head motion with eyes closed
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor, hands resting on your lap or chair.
  • With your eyes closed, move your head up and down at a speed you are comfortable with.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Why should you do this exercise? By eliminating your visual feedback, you sharpen your sense of touch and inner ear systems to help keep your balance when you move your head or look up and down in a low-light situation. 

Smooth Pursuit in Sitting

best exercises for dizziness: smooth pursuit in sitting
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a pen (or business card) in front of you.
  • Keep your head still while your eyes are focused on the pen.
  • Move the pen (or business card) from side-to-side or up/down, following it with your eyes only.
  • Perform 15-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Tip: Start this exercise with slow movement and gradually increase to a more rapid rate as your tolerance and level of comfort improves.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise will re-train the movement of your eyes, independently of your head. The goal of this exercise is for your brain to learn to tolerate and accurately interpret information coming from your different sensory systems. 

Saccades in Sitting

best exercises for dizziness: saccades in sitting
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold two pens (or business cards) placed about 12 inches apart in front of you.
  • Keep your head still, and move your eyes quickly to focus on the pens from side to side.
  • Perform 15-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise will re-train the movement of your eyes, independently of your head. As your brain learns to adapt to these eye movements, you will find that your tolerance to look quickly in different directions without getting dizzy will improve.

This skill comes in handy when you are walking in crowded areas or when you must look quickly at different targets without losing your balance. 

Gaze Stabilization in Sitting

sitting gaze stabilization exercise for dizziness
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a pen (or business card) in front of you.
  • Keep your eyes focused on the pen while moving your head from side to side or up/down.
  • Perform 15-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Tip: The pen (or business card) must remain in focus, not blurry, and appear stationary while your head is in motion. Start this exercise with slow movement and gradually increase to a more rapid rate as long as the target remains in focus.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise will help stabilize your focus independently of your head movement. As your brain learns to adapt to these head movements, you will find that you can maintain your focus on a target even when you are moving your head.

This skill comes in handy when you need to focus on a stationary target even as your head or body is moving; for instance, while walking in a crowded street. 

Smooth Pursuit in Standing

standing smooth pursuit exercise
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold a pen (or business card) in front of you.
  • Keep your head still while your eyes are focused on the pen.
  • Move the pen (or business card) from side-to-side or up/down, following it with your eyes only.
  • Perform 15-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Tip: Start this exercise with slow movement and gradually increase to a more rapid rate as your tolerance and level of comfort improves.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise is a progression of the smooth pursuit exercise you did while sitting.

By standing, you are reducing your surface support and feedback from the wider surface of your buttocks when you are sitting, to smaller surface support, the soles of your feet when you are standing.

Saccades in Standing

standing saccade exercises
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold two pens (or business cards) placed about 12 inches apart in front of you.
  • Keep your head still and move your eyes quickly to focus on the pens (or business cards) from side-to-side or up/down.
  • Perform 15-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise is a progression of the saccade exercise you did while sitting.

By standing, you are reducing your surface support and feedback from the wider surface of your buttocks when you are sitting, to smaller surface support, the soles of your feet when you are standing. 

Gaze Stabilization in Standing

standing gaze stabilization exercise for dizziness
  • Sit erect with both feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a pen (or business card) in front of you.
  • Keep your eyes focused on the pen while moving your head from side to side or up and down.
  • Perform 15-20 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Tip: The pen (or business card) must remain in focus, not blurry, and appear stationary while your head is in motion.

Start this exercise with slow movement and gradually increase to a more rapid rate as long as the target remains in focus.

Why should you do this exercise? This exercise is a progression of the gaze stabilization exercise you did while sitting.

By standing, you are reducing your surface support and feedback from the wider surface of your buttocks when you are sitting, to smaller surface support, the soles of your feet when you are standing. 

Take back your confidence and banish your fear of falling! Get my QUICK and EASY Guide to Improve Your Balance for free here.

How do these exercises help with your dizziness?

The balance system, which requires three different senses, is one of the most complicated systems.

You use your eyes to see where you are and where you are going. You use the sensors in your skin and joints to feel where you are and how you are moving. And you use the balance organ in your inner ear to feel the movements of your head.

When we experience dizziness or vertigo, we tend to minimize or limit the movements of our eyes and head.

Over time, the limited use of your eye and head movements causes a decline or loss of the vestibular function of your balance systems, aggravating or prolonging the symptoms of your dizziness.

The exercises I included in this article have generally fallen into one of two categories, either adaptation or habituation exercises.

Adaptation

The action or process that allows your brain and balance system (eyes, skin receptors, inner ear) to accommodate the different challenges to your balance.

Habituation

The action or process that allows your brain and balance systems to get accustomed to the different challenges to your balance.

Numerous studies have documented the efficacy of these exercises in easing or alleviating the symptoms and physical limitations associated with loss of vestibular function.

What to do next?

Long-lasting dizziness and imbalance can be very frustrating.

In fact, for some individuals, it is a genuine problem that makes it difficult to live a normal life.

During the in-between stages of dizziness or vertigo attacks, practice the exercises I’ve described in this article to assist you to alleviate the dizziness symptoms and achieve a long-term solution.

You now have the tools and the power to ease the symptoms of your dizziness!

‘Til then, stay healthy and live fully!

Dr. Lex Gonzales
Dr. Lex Gonzales, PT, DPT is an author and speaker who has been a physical/physiotherapist for over 24 years. On drlexgonzales.com he provides quality information and practical solutions you can use to improve your health and function.
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