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Keeping physically active is key to a
healthy lifestyle.
But sometimes it’s best to check
with your doctor before you start to exercise.
When to check
with your doctor
Although moderate physical activity, such as
brisk walking, is safe for most people, health
experts suggest that you talk to your doctor
before you start an exercise program if any of
the following apply:
You have heart disease.
You have asthma or lung disease.
You have diabetes, or liver or kidney
You have arthritis.
You should also check with your doctor if you
have symptoms suggestive of heart, lung or
other serious disease, such as:
ain or discomfort in your chest, neck, jaw
or arms during physical activity
Dizziness or loss of consciousness
Shortness of breath with mild exertion or at
rest, or when lying down or going to bed
Ankle swelling, especially at night
A heart murmur or a rapid or pronounced
Muscle pain when walking upstairs or up a
hill that goes away when you rest
Finally, the American College of Sports
Medicine recommends that you see your
doctor before engaging in vigorous exercise if
two or more of the following apply:
You’re a man older than age 45 or a woman
older than age 55.
You have a family history of heart disease
before age 55.
You smoke or you quit smoking in the past
six months.
You haven’t exercised for three months or
You’re overweight or obese.
You have high blood pressure or high
You have impaired glucose tolerance, also
called prediabetes.
When in doubt, check it out
If you’re unsure of your health status, have
multiple health problems or are pregnant,
speak with your doctor before starting a new
exercise program. Working with your doctor
ahead of time is a good way to plan an exercise
program that’s right for you. Consider it the
first step on your path to physical fitness.
When to check
with your doctor first
July/Aug 2013