Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/05/2013 -- Most fitness experts and exercise programs recommend consulting with a doctor prior to beginning a new fitness regimen. But is this step really necessary? There are some questions a person can ask themselves to determine if they take this step for reassurance, or begin exercising and discuss their activities with a physician during their next physical.
First to consider is how active a person wishes to be. Activity of any type is good, and if someone has been a regular walker, runner, or cycler there is probably no reason for concern. But if just starting out, one needs to consider engaging in activities they are capable of, and beginning at a slow pace to build up endurance. This is where persons of a certain age or those with cardiovascular issues should discuss their new routine with a doctor to determine if it is safe to pursue.
Mention to a doctor how intense the activity should be, with low-to-moderate intensities being sustainable for a longer period, or beginning slowly and progressing in intensity as endurance improves over time. Vigorous activity is defined as activity intended to significantly increase heart and breathing rates, and is usually only performed for 20-30 minute before fatigue sets in. Knowing which type of exercise a person plans to engage in can help a doctor determine if the activity is appropriate for their age/health condition, and provide advice on how to stay safe.
Other considerations to with a physician include whether or not a person has been told they should only participate in a certain activity due to a medical condition. Does the person feel chest pain or discomfort during activity, or do they become dizzy, lose balance, or even consciousness? Are there joint issues that could worsen with certain types of activity, such as high-impact aerobics, that should be avoided? What types of medications is a person taking, and is there any reason the person can think of that would cause them to abstain from activity?
If the answer to all questions is no, reasonably moderate activity can be pursued without discussing it with a doctor. But if any of those considerations give a person pause, or cause them to answer yes, it’s best to consult with a physician prior to starting activity. This will ensure maximum results from the workout regimen, and sustained health overall.
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