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How to Safely Begin an Exercise Program

First, ask yourself these questions

Vigorous Activity

Jogging, running, lap swimming, aerobic dancing, rowing, cross-country skiing, hiking and competitive group sports are all examples of vigorous activity. If you can only say a few words without stopping for breath while working out, then you’re exercising at a vigorous intensity.  

If you would like to work out at this level, check with your doctor first if you answer yes to any of the following questions:

Question Yes No
Are you a man 45 or older or a woman 55 or older?    
Do you have a heart or blood vessel disease, lung disease, asthma, thyroid disorders or kidney disease?    

Do you have two or more of the following risk factors?

Family history of heart disease

Currently smoke cigarettes

High blood pressure

High cholesterol

30 pounds or more overweight

Not physically active

Diabetes

   

What Should You Do If . . .

You become sick? Rest while you're sick is important to your body's healing process. Return to your normal activity level after you've fully recovered and feel healthy enough for exercise.

You have worrying symptoms during exercise? Learn your body’s normal response to working out. As you gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activity, your body will respond with a higher heart rate, breathing rate and perspiration level. This is normal. If you begin to feel pain or discomfort while exercising, get your doctor’s advice. It could be your body's way of warning you that something's wrong.

You may also like: 9 best exercise tips for Boomers. >>

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