In people who are prescribed beta blockers there may be some constraints regarding physical activity, to be more precise exercises. Namely, as many of us do not know the very intensity and efficacy of exercise generally depend on the heart rate and blood circulation. Beta blockers are drugs that interfere in heart function and may also have certain effects on exercise.
More on Beta Blockers
Beta blockers (beta-adrenergic blocking agents) are drugs which block specific receptors (beta receptors) and by doing so they inhibit the effects of norepinephrine and epinephrine.
Beta receptors are in charge with numerous metabolic functions. Its stimulation is associated with increase of energy of the body and may also cause increase in the blood pressure. There are two types of beta receptors, β1 and β2 receptors. β1 receptors are located in the heart, kidneys and eyes while β2 receptors can be found in skeletal muscles, liver, lungs and gastrointestinal tract.
Some beta blockers are selective blocking only β2 receptors while others are non-selective and additionally block β1 receptors. These medications reduce heart rate and allow blood vessels to dilate. By doing so they reduce blood pressure. Furthermore, the drug puts a threshold limit on the heart muscle which results in certain limitation when it comes to exercising. This is why patients treated with beta blockers do not have enough stamina and they are quite limited when exercising.
As it is the case with any other medication, even beta blockers have different side effects. The most frequently reported side effects are cold extremities, dizziness and extreme fatigue. Majority of adverse effects are actually a consequence of low heart rate. Apart from the mentioned beta blockers may cause impotence, memory loss, shortness of breath and several more side effects.
Exercising while on Beta Blockers
Many people who have recently started taking beta blockers complain about their stamina while exercising. They do not know about the direct connection between the intake of the medication and the lack of stamina. Such problem is usually only present in the beginning and one eventually learns to cope with it.
It is estimated that selective beta blockers do not cause so intensive problems comparing to non-selective beta blockers.
Because of all the previously mentioned, it is best to consult a doctor and report all the problems the person is facing with while exercising. Moreover, he/ she should explain the doctor the type of exercises he/ she performs and for how long he/ she exercises. Then the doctor may suggest the most convenient exercise regime and the length of physical activity which will suit most the person who is supposed to continue taking beta blockers.