Creating A Safe And Effective Exercise Program: Medication Counterindications And Side Effects

*This course has been pre-approved by NCTRC for 5 clock hours.

This course is part of a 2-part program for designing an exercise/movement group for the elderly. This course can also be used as a stand-alone course. This course provides information on commonly prescribed medications and their side effects. Several commonly prescribed medication categories are highlighted such as beta blockers, anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications. Along with the categories are some of the brand names, side effects and what to observe when working with a resident/patient taking a medication.


Include a list of items to support the central theme of your page. Bulleted lists are a great way to parse information into digestible pieces.

  • Recognize some commonly prescribed medications in their therapeutic class and their side effects

  • Explain three reasons why it is important to be aware of medication side effects as they relate to exercise

  • Explain the importance of obtaining a medical clearance prior to engaging an individual in any type of exercise

  • Explain why it is important to monitor behavior and performance changes in a group member when medication has been changed or group member has been placed on a new medication

  • Explain why it is important to encourage all participants to “stand up slowly”

  • Describe what is meant by “Orthostatic hypotension”

Jo Anne Kikel, MA, CTRS, NASM-CPT

Instructor Bio:

Jo Anne Kikel, MA, CTRS, NASM-CPT has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for over 30 years. She received her BS at the University of Northern Colorado and completed her internship at a day program for the disabled in Nottinghamshire, England where she resided with an English family for three months. She has worked in various settings including community recreation and special needs, psychiatry, physical rehabilitation and Alzheimer's units. Her favorite population is the elderly. She observing that older people, however physically frail, benefitted from and enjoyed moving their bodies to music. She observed that music and movement improved mood and socialization. She also observed that many elderly reported on the initial assessment that they had been sedentary and typically had not participated in any exercise for many years, stating, "I am too old for that". Jo Anne had decided to obtain her personal training certification so she could work with elderly people in the community with the hopes of lowering the chances of premature hospitalization. She began her personal training career while still employed as a CTRS in an addiction/mental health unit. She continues to provide gentle movement groups for the patients on the unit on a PRN basis and observed that gentle movement/correct breathing and relaxation had benefitted the younger patients as well. Because the statistics report one-third of seniors over 65 years of age experience falls, she is currently offering personal training services as well as balance classes at the local senior center. She believes that educating the elderly on the importance of starting and maintaining safe and effective (not to mention fun) exercises to their day will help keep clients living a meaningful and healthy lifestyle. She also hopes that the information she is sharing with other CTRS's will motivate them to include a gentle and safe exercise/movement class in their facilities.

Jo Anne Kikel, MA, CTRS, NASM-CPT

SMART Instructor