“Should I Get a Clearance From My Doctor Before I Exercise?”

Many people every day start on a new exercise program. As seniors, there are a lot of us entering this experience with some health issues that might cause concern when we think about putting any kind of stress on our body systems.

These exact issues have been the subject of much research and refinement at the American College of Sports Medicine.

Their new guidelines have been changed to reflect the fact that the small degree of risk inherent in the added stress of exercise is far outweighed by the tremendous benefits achieved.

But let’s get specific, because there are definitely conditions that warrant a doctor’s authorization before beginning an exercise program; especially if you want to jump right into high intensity exercise.

If you currently exercise on a regular basis:

  • If you have any symptoms of cardiovascular, metabolic disease, or kidney disease, it is recommended that you stop exercising and consult with your doctor before continuing.
  • If you have any of these diseases listed above and you are symptom free, light to moderate exercise can be continued. Before progressing to intense exercise, a doctor’s approval is recommended.

If you do not have any of these diseases or their symptoms, continue to exercise as you wish.

If you are not currently exercising:

  • If you don’t have the any of the diseases listed above or their symptoms, it is not necessary to have a doctor’s clearance for light to moderate exercise. ACSM recommends following a progressive program leading up to levels of intense exercise, if that is your desire.

If you have any symptoms of cardiovascular, metabolic, or renal disease; or the disease itself, a doctor’s clearance is recommended before starting an exercise program.

As you can see, the risks evaluated focus on three major categories. They involve the major body systems that can pose serious risks when acute issues arise.

What about issues not covered by these guidelines?

It’s always a good practice to consult your physician regarding specific medical conditions that concern you. Hopefully, you’re visiting your doctor at least once a year for a physical. That’s an ideal time to review your exercise plans, if you haven’t already.

It’s not only good for you, but it gives your personal trainer the confidence necessary to tailor the appropriate workouts for you.

Beginning an exercise program is an important and exciting first step. Take the time to do it safely and with proper guidance and you will be glad you did!

Steven

Simply Senior Fitness by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



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