How can I get started on an exercise program?

Who Should Check With a Doctor First?You should see your doctor for a checkup and exercise advice before you start an exercise program or increase your exercise if any of these apply to you.

  • You have heart disease or have had a heart attack.
  • You are taking medicine for a heart condition or high blood pressure.
  • You are older than age 50, and you've been inactive for a while.
  • Others in your family developed heart disease or experienced sudden death at a young age.
  • You sometimes have pain or pressure in your chest, neck, shoulder, or arm.
  • You sometimes lose consciousness or fall over due to dizziness.
  • You become breathless after mild activity.
  • You have joint or bone problems that could be made worse by exercise.
  • You have any other serious health problem.

Young, healthy individuals often start a sensible program of regular activity without seeing the doctor first. But if you have any doubts, or if you have ever had any of the conditions listed above, make a visit to your doctor before you make any major changes to your activity level.

How Can My Doctor Help?

Whatever your health, you can visit your doctor if you'd like help setting up a new exercise program that's right for you. Your doctor or an exercise specialist can help you customize your exercise routine to fit your:

  • level of fitness
  • heart health
  • overall health
  • interests
  • age
  • schedule