Ask the doctor: Does a beta blocker interfere with exercise?

Q. My doctor recently put me on Tenormin because my blood pressure was getting high. Now, when I run or row, I can't get my heart rate much above 115 beats per minute even though my peak heart rate should be 136. Is the beta blocker keeping me from getting the full benefit of exercise?

A. Although your heart now beats more slowly when you run and row, rest assured that your heart, arteries, lungs, muscles, and the rest of you are getting the full benefit of exercise.

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