One way to get started is to talk with your doctor about the exercises and physical activities that are best for you. If you have a specific health issue that you are concerned about, ask your doctor for some tips to help you exercise safely. Here are some questions to consider:
1. Are there any exercises or activities I should avoid?
Your doctor can make recommendations based on your health history, keeping in mind any recent surgeries and ongoing health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease.
This would be a great time to check with your doctor about any unexplained symptoms you’ve been experiencing, such as chest pain or pressure, joint pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Your doctor may recommend postponing exercise until the problem is diagnosed and treated.
2. Is my preventive care up to date?
Your doctor can tell you if there are any tests you might need. For example, women over age 65 should be checked regularly for osteoporosis.
3. How does my health condition affect my ability to exercise?
Some health conditions can affect your exercise routine. For example, people with arthritis may need to avoid some types of activity, especially when joints are swollen or inflamed. Those with diabetes may need to adjust their daily schedule, meal plan, or medications when planning their activities. Your doctor can talk to you about any adjustments you need to make to ensure that you get the most out of your new exercise routine.
To find out more about how to exercise safely, visit the Go4Life® website at www.nia.nih.gov/Go4Life. Go4Life is an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH. It has exercises, success stories, and free materials to help you get ready, start exercising, and keep going.