How To Start An Exercise Program
Is It Safe?
I think the real question is "How safe is it for you not to exercise?" Did you know that obesity has just replaced smoking as the number one cause of health related problems? That's incredible! Sorry to say, but that means we are a bunch of fat, inactive people! Back in the day when people milked cows and planted their own food for exercise, you would never hear of something like this. Think about that the next time you can't exercise because of a hard day at the office! O.k. before I tear off too far into a rant lets look at some of the real concerns you should tend to before you start an exercise program.
Before you exercise, go see your doctor-Get a check up. Make sure you get a blood pressure test and a blood test. Have your heart condition checked and make sure all the other stuff is done and o.k. Some people mistakenly hold back serious effort in the gym for too long because they are afraid something may be wrong with them. If you get a check up and receive a clean bill of health, that's one more excuse gone!
Before you exercise, note your pains and past injuries- Your trainer will need this to know how to design your exercise program. If you are going to do it on your own, you will be able to do some research as to which exercises are the safest and most beneficial for you and what you should avoid.
Before you exercise, note your medications - A large part of exercise and fitness these days involves sports supplements. It's a good thing to know if any medications you're on will interact adversely with these supplements. I.E. Blood pressure meds mixed with ephedrine, caffeine and exercise is not a good idea!
Before you exercise, do the PAR-Q (physical activity readiness questionnaire). It covers most questions that should be addressed before starting an exercise program. Most gyms stock these forms for liability reasons and it shouldn't be hard to get a hold of one.
Last point; if you are just starting out and have a lot of questions about exercise and your fitness, invest in a personal trainer. It is the most sure fire way to make sure that you are doing all your exercises correctly and that you will be truly safe when you start your exercise program.
Ray Burton is a personal trainer and owner of www.buildingbodies.ca/fitness-site.shtml
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