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Do You Need to Talk to Your Doctor Before You Start an Exercise Program?
Specific Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you have a heart condition?
- Do you have chest pain or discomfort when you are physically active? Do you have this pain even when you are not exercising?
- Does your heart often beat too fast or too slow when you are at rest?
- Do you become lightheaded, lose your balance, or lose consciousness? During the past year, have you fallen more than two times?
- Do you have problems with your bones or joints? If so, does this problem become worse when you exercise? Do your legs or buttocks hurt when you walk?
- Do you take medications to treat a heart condition or a blood pressure problem?
- Do you have any wounds on your feet? Do these wounds take a long time to heal?
- During the past six months, have you had unexplained weight loss?
- Can you think of any reason why you should not get involved in an exercise program?
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports http://www.fitness.gov
Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology http://www.csep.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Before you start an exercise program. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts%5Fdisplay.aspx?itemid=2612. Accessed February 19, 2014.
Coronary artery disease (CAD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 16, 2013. Accessed February 19, 2014.
Fletcher GF, Balady G, Blair SN, et al. A statement for health professionals by the Committee on Exercise and Cardiac Rehabilitation of the Council in Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association. Circulation. 1996; 94:857.
Fletcher GF, Balady G, Froelicher VF, et al. Exercise standards. A statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 1995; 91:580.
Lemaitre RN, Siscovick DS, Raghunathan TE, et al. Leisure-time physical activity and the risk of primary cardiac arrest. Arch Intern Med. 1999; 159:686.
Powell KE, Thompson PD, Cespersen CJ, Kendrick JS. Physical activity and the incidence of coronary heart disease. Annu Rev Public Health. 1987; 8:253.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014
- Update Date: 02/19/2014