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Top Medications That Affect Exercise

There are many types of medications, but I am going to give you a list of the top types that can affect your ability to exercise. Keep in mind you can and should exercise while taking these, just know what you are taking and possible side effects that may change the way you feel and respond to exercise.

1) Antidepressants

It is hard to get in the mood to exercise as it is, but Antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac can cause extreme fatigue that makes finding the motivation to exercise even more difficult. When you exercise while fatigued it increases your likelihood of hurting yourself since you may not be as alert as normal. The best way to combat this is to try to plan physical activity 3 to 4 hours from the times you take your antidepressants or during times of day when you know you’re most alert.


2) Long-acting sleeping pills

To help you sleep through the night, many people take long-acting sleeping pills like Lunesta and Ambien CR. These medications can cause you to feel groggy and drowsy the day after using them, which can make exercise feel like a huge burden.

If you take these types of medications, you could plan a late-morning or afternoon workout instead of exercising early in the day. But remember: If you wait too late in the evening to exercise, you may have trouble falling asleep, which can make the sleeping problem worse.


3) Diabetes medications

If you have diabetes then you know how important it is to keep an eye out for low blood sugar. Insulin and sulfonylurea medications like Glipizide are two diabetes treatments with a high risk of hypoglycemia. On its own, exercise lowers your blood sugar, too. So, combining high-intensity exercise with these medications can be risky. It’s especially important for you to speak with your doctor about an appropriate exercise routine if you take diabetes medications. Your doctor may be able to change your medication or the dose if necessary.


4) Blood pressure medications

You may be taking a beta-blocker to treat high blood pressure or other heart conditions. Beta-blockers work so well that they cover up most of the symptoms of hypoglycemia (trembling, nervousness, shaking). In fact, sweating is the only sign of hypoglycemia that beta-blockers don’t mask. But here’s the thing, it’s normal to sweat during exercise. You see why beta-blockers can make exercise risky, especially for people who have diabetes.

One of the many reasons exercise is good for your health is because it helps lower your blood pressure, even after your workout is complete. This post-workout blood pressure drop is expected, but can be made worse if you’re also taking medications designed to lower blood pressure. That means you’ll want to talk to your doctor about how to safely monitor your exercise intensity to make sure your heart rate and blood pressure don’t drop too low. Here are a few other ways to be careful.

- Stay hydrated.

- Be careful when going from lying down to sitting or sitting to standing.

- If you feel dizzy, faint, or light-headed, take a break or call it quits for the day.


Exercise is extremely important for your overall health so don’t think that you shouldn’t exercise because of the medications that you’re on. There are many different kinds of medications that people take, but you have to make sure you exercise smart in order to stay safe. You just want to make sure that you have all of the information about your medications before you start a workout routine. This is why at Wellbound we ask what medications you are taking when you join. We want all of you to be safe while working out!


Thank you for listening!


-Anthony

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