Men On Statins Exercise Less

June 17, 2014

Exercising ManAbout one-third of older Americans take heart medication, but the side-effects may be causing a chain-reaction of other health problems.

Mature men are less likely to exercise if they take statins. It’s horrible, because exercise is just as important, if not more important for maintaining good cardiovascular health. And as we age, exercise helps to preserve our independence (both mobility AND memory!).

Exercise can also improve sleep, especially since it can get harder as we get older. It can improve mood, and even help with confidence and be a social activity.

So what’s the deal? A previous study found that younger people on statins tend to attribute more power to the pill than they should, and don’t think they need to exercise (but they do!).

Older men may be feeling side-effects a little more strongly: fatigue and muscle pain are both side-effects and they could inhibit both the desire and ability to exercise. Unfortunately, as we age, the way we metabolize drugs changes and we might experience more side-effects (and let’s face it, those are side effects that an ageing body is already prone to). Keep a journal of side effects, and to make sure that you’re taking the right dosage at the right times—then talk to your doctor. They might be able to help you so you can feel better.

In the meantime, try a morning group class of gentle exercise. Yoga, water aerobics, or just a walk with friends can help you get the exercise you need while you’re feeling energetic.

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