Exercise and Medications

Do you know about exercise and medications that you are taking?  Most people have no idea of the negative effects that their medications can have on the ability to reach their fitness goals.

Many allergy medications, diet pills and cold remedies contain ingredients that can make your heart race, a normal dose probably would be fine but adding exercise may cause unwanted side effects. Antihistamines can also cause drowsiness and decrease reaction time and throw off your balance and coordination putting you at risk for injuries, caution should be taken when riding your bike, running and using any type of equipment, so please choose a non drowsy formula when possible. Antihistamines can also cause drying in the upper airways while exercising, which can be uncomfortable so drink plenty of water. It is also a good idea to use a nasal saline spray to keep the nasal passages moist.

Decongestants cause narrowing of the blood vessels to allow better airflow but this also limits blood flow and can cause muscle fatigue, making exercise difficult. Decongestants can also cause a rise in blood pressure and heart rate at rest and during exercise.

Diuretics are used to remove water from the body through your kidneys. They are also used for High Blood Pressure and to remove excess fluid from the body, because of the increased activity of the kidneys, caution must be taken to maintain proper hydration before during and after exercising to avoid electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

Many active people and athletes take anti-inflammatory drugs due to training injuries and over use of muscles and joints; it is not advised to take these drugs to get through a work out, masking pain is not a good thing, your body is telling you that there is a problem and blocking it out to get a work out in is dangerous and could lead to further and serious injury. Currently, there is a bit of controversy on chronic overuse of these types (NSAID’s) of medications – some researchers say that they can allegedly cause permanent damage to cartilage.

Beta Blockers, Thyroid Medications, Heart Medications, Anti Depressants, Birth Control can all have an effect of exercising, weight loss and your fitness results. Everyone should educate themselves on any and all medications that you put into your body, they are chemical based and can have different effects on different people and their metabolism.

Antidepressants are one of the most commonly used medications today, they have side effects such as weight gain and loss of sex drive. Studies have shown that excercise is a powerful tool in reducing these side effects and the good news is excercise also reduces depression in itself.

Exercising produces positive reactions from all of our bodies systems; the brain, muscular cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems are all affected which is why you feel great when you are finished exercising, but combined with certain types of medications, the stresses of exercise placed on the body are different so always talk to your doctor about your medications and exercise.

If you are training with a fitness specialist be sure to inform them of any medications that you are taking before exercising. Knowledge of a your medications can provide valuable information in order to design a safe and effective training program that works for you.