Metoprolol (generic Lopressor) is a beta blocker that is sometimes prescribed to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems in people with hypertension. If your doctor prescribes you this medication, he or she may also encourage you to implement a regular exercise routine.
Regular aerobic exercise helps you strengthen your heart and manage your weight, which can contribute to lowering your blood pressure. However, it is important to recognize how beta blockers like metoprolol affect your heart before you begin a new exercise program.
Metoprolol works by lowering your resting heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces the strain on your heart. If you have been monitoring your exercise based on your heart rate, you will notice that your peak heart rate during exercise is lower when you are taking metoprolol. You can still get all the same benefits from exercise, but you will need to adjust your target heart rate.
One easy way to do this is to subtract your new resting heart rate from your previous resting heart rate, and then subtract the resulting number from your previous peak heart rate. Let’s say your resting heart rate used to be 70, but goes down to 60 after you have been taking metoprolol for several months. If you know that your peak heart rate during exercise used to be 170, you would subtract 10 to get 160.
If you’ve never monitored your resting or peak heart rate but want to start tracking it now that you are using metoprolol, you can also talk to your doctor about running a short exercise stress test. This will help you determine your target heart rate when working out.
Additional Tips for Safe Exercise
While exercise has many health benefits, you need to make sure you are working out safely, especially if you have high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about activities that are safe for you if you have a chronic health condition or heart problems, or if you are a smoker, overweight, or haven’t been exercising regularly.
If you are able to safely exercise, you should aim for 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least 5 days a week. Aerobic activity includes brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking, or even performing household chores, such as cleaning the kitchen or raking leaves. You should exercise rigorously, but not to the point of exhaustion—a good rule of thumb is that if you can’t talk, you’re probably exercising too hard.
Start each workout slowly, gradually work up to your peak, and cool down afterwards to reduce your risk of injury. It’s also a good idea to space your exercise out throughout the week, rather than trying to cram it all into one or two days.
Exercise can be an excellent complement to metoprolol when you’re trying to lower your blood pressure—just make sure you’re following your doctor’s instructions when it comes to taking your medication and working out. For discounts on metoprolol and other high blood pressure medications, search our site for coupons that offer up to 75% off the retail price.