The dizziness and tiredness caused, at first, by most blood pressure medications are enough to put anyone off from taking them. But with exercise you can reap the benefits of your medication and minimize any fatigue that comes your way. Better still, some strategies simultaneously combat fatigue and reduce blood pressure.
If your blood pressure has been high for some time, as it often is in older patients, the process of lowering it with drugs temporarily reduces circulation in some blood vessels, including in the brain. Because it can take time for these vessels to relax, you may have to continue taking your medication for approximately two to six weeks before you get past the initial fatigue.
In the meantime, regular exercise can combat fatigue. Mitochondria in cells fuel your body’s activity. The more you exercise, the more mitochondria your body makes for energy. If you have not been active for some time, it is important that exercise is performed under a qualied physical therapist.
A program of nutrition and exercise can increase blood flow and get you feeling more energetic as your body adjusts to blood pressure medication. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, is considered safe for most people. Another technique, therapeutic ultrasound, uses high frequency sound waves that can increase blood flow to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and remove cell wastes.
According to the American Medical Association, even participating in moderate exercise has an impact on blood pressure. This means that while you may still require medication, exercise can be the boost you need to fight side effects such as fatigue and help bring your blood pressure down. Another positive effect from exercise can be weight loss, which can help to reduce high blood pressure. Other approaches include quitting smoking and reducing alcohol, both of which can affect your energy levels and contribute to high blood pressure.
Side effects from blood pressure medications can keep people from seeking treatment. However, a well-designed physical therapy program makes adjusting to your medication easier and less exhausting. When done right, exercise can even help lower your blood pressure, too. We can work with you and your physician to customize an exercise plan to help you achieve your long-term health goals.