Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Beta blockers slow your heart rate, which can prevent the increase in heart rate that typically occurs with exercise. This means that it might not be possible for you to reach your target heart rate — the number of heartbeats per minute you aim for to ensure you're exercising hard enough.
No matter how hard you exercise when taking a beta blocker, you may never reach your target heart rate. Keep in mind that being unable to reach your previous target heart rate doesn't mean you're not getting cardiovascular benefits from exercise.
There's no precise way to predict the effect of beta blockers on your heart rate. An exercise stress test, which checks blood flow through your heart while you exercise, can measure how hard your heart pumps while you're taking beta blockers. Your doctor can use this information to adjust the target heart rate you should work to.
If you don't have an exercise stress test, you can use a perceived exertion scale, such as the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale, which relies on your judgment of how hard you're working based on effort, breathlessness and fatigue. Ask your doctor for help finding and using an exertion scale.
For most workouts, your best bet is to aim for physical activity that feels somewhat hard — it takes effort but you can continue. If you can't talk while you're exercising, you're probably overdoing it.
Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from website advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse non-Mayo products and services.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.