Monday, 05 November 2018 09:58

Is It Safe To Exercise Featured

We know that for virtually everybody some form of exercise is beneficial no matter what your age and health. If exercise were a pill it would have greater general benefits than all of the medicines we use.

There are many barriers to people making use of the miracles of exercise. One of these is whether the type of exercise they would like to do is safe for them? When we are young and healthy we rarely give this a thought but as we enter into middle age or experience various health issues, doubts can creep in.

Firstly consider the intensity of exercise you intend to do as well as consider your age and health status. Some general guidelines are provided to help you to find a way forward. If you have any doubts at all a check up with your GP is a good starting point.


Who should definitely see their doctor first?

If you have any of the following it is strongly advisable to have a discussion with your doctor before starting an exercise program:

  1. If you have any heart condition or have ever had a stroke
  2. If you ever have chest pains at rest or with activity
  3. If you ever feel dizzy or faint during physical activity
  4. If you have any chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma that is not considered well controlled
  5. If you have any significant joint, bone or muscle problems that you think could be affected by the type of exercise you are contemplating

When is it advisable to have a medical check first?

Although everyone should exercise the following points help to identify people who should see their doctor first especially if they are contemplating training for a competitive event or feat of physical endurance.

  1. If you are a man over 45 years or a women over 55 years of age
  2. If you have a family history of a parent or sibling with any heart troubles or a stroke experienced at an age under 65 years
  3. If you are a smoker or have recently quit
  4. If you have been physically inactive for a long period of time
  5. If you are overweight
  6. If you have been told you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a high blood sugar
  7. If you have spent time in hospital in the last 12 months
  8. If you are pregnant or recently given birth
  9. If you are regularly taking prescribed medication.

A visit to your GP will allow your general health to be assessed and is a good opportunity for a check up for various diseases and your health risks in the future. In particular a check on your cardiovascular risk will be done.

From this visit you may come away with a sense of confidence that you can achieve your exercise goals. Alternatively you may end up more aware of the safety limitations that should be put on your physical activities but still allow you to exercise with confidence.

Your doctor can give you advice on how to approach your physical activities and in more complicated cases refer you to specialists in designing the correct exercise program for you.