Instituto Henriqueta Teixeira

Instituto Henriqueta Teixeira



Antihypertensive medications and exercise

International SportMed Journal

FIMS Position Statement

Associate Professor Wayne Derman

UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Sport Science Institute of South Africa, Boundary Rd, Newlands, South Africa


Over recent decades, lifestyles have undergone substantial changes. A combination of increased fat and refined carbohydrates in the diet, and a reduction in physical activity has resulted in an epidemic of hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and other chronic diseases (1). Adoption of healthy lifestyles by all individuals is critical for the prevention of high blood pressure (BP). Furthermore  according to The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, adoption of a healthy lifestyle forms an indispensable part of the management of patients with hypertension (2). In fact, positive lifestyle modifications, including physical exercise training, may have similar efficacy to single drug therapy (3;4). Lifestyle changes, however, should not delay unnecessarily the initiation of pharmacotherapy, especially in patients with higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus many patients should receive an exercise prescription, in addition to an antihypertensive medication prescription from the treating clinician(5 6). Some antihypertensive agents interfere with the normal physiological response to exercise leading to fatigue and making exercise an unpleasant experience as perceived by the patient (7-9). This often results in non-compliance with the exercise prescription or the pharmacological prescription, or both.

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