05 Dec Checking health precautions
It seems to be fairly common to see alerts about contacting your physician or checking your health status before starting an exercise program or a new physical activity. On a practical level, what does this mean? I like Greg Whyte’s * suggestion of specific questions to ask yourself, and if you answer “yes” to any of them, to consult your doctor before starting.
- Has your doctor ever told you that you have a heart condition?
- Do you feel pain in your chest during physical activity?
- Have you recently suffered from chest pain at rest?
- Do you suffer from dizziness?
- Have you ever lost consciousness?
- Do you suffer from joint problems that may be made worse by exercise?
- Are you currently taking drugs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a heart condition?
- Do you know of any reason why you should not participate in exercise?
Even if I answered “no” to all of these questions, I would consider Whyte’s further injunction to contact a physician if:
- You already have a diagnosed chronic health problem (including heart or lung disease and diabetes) or are at high risk of developing one.
- You are over the age of forty and inactive.
* Greg Whyte. Swimming for Exercise – Optimize your technique, fitness and enjoyment. Firefly Books, Buffalo, New York, 144 pages