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Your Medical History

I've been talking about the advantages of working out for years. A few hours a week, over time, can make a tremendous difference in your physical and mental well-being.

Hundreds of medical studies back me up, showing that even totally sedentary people of advanced age can realize benefits from exercising. I encourage everybody to consider it, just make sure to do at least one thing first.

Fill out a Medical History questionnaire before you start working out, to get a snapshot of your current physical health. While exercise can be a healthy thing to do, you also want to make sure you're not doing something that may cause harm or aggravate any existing injuries.

Ask yourself the following questions.

Have you had a recent illness, hospitalization or surgical procedure? If you have there are typically restrictions on the amount of weight you can lift or how long you should work out.

Have you ever had any of the following? Heart attack, coronary bypass, cardiac surgery, stroke, abnormal resting or stress ECG, uneven, irregular, or skipped heart beats (including a racing or fluttering heart)? A doctor should monitor all of these conditions.

Do you have high blood pressure or cholesterol? If either is elevated, you may need to take medications to get them in line before starting a workout program.

 

Do these apply to you?

  1. Have you ever been diagnosed with phlebitis (deep vein thrombophlebitis), pulmonary disease (asthma, emphysema and bronchitis) or rheumatic fever?

  2. Do you experience light-headedness, fainting or seizures, chest pain or unusual shortness of breath?

  3. Do you have any orthopedic problems? (Arthritis or any other bone, joint or muscle problems.)

  4. Finally, are you 70 years of age or older and/or are you considered obese (with a body mass index of 30 or greater?)

It's important that you answer the questions honestly and thoroughly. If you answered yes to any of them, you should see a doctor or health care provider for a complete medical evaluation before you start working out.

In some cases your physician may recommend you should NOT workout for a period of time. For example if you're recovering from an illness, a surgery or other injury.

I can already hear some of you starting to complain. "I don't have time to see a doctor" or "I can't afford a medical checkup." If you don't think you have the time or money for a one day doctor visit, just imagine how much it would cost if you had a real medical problem!

Don't go to the opposite extreme either. You shouldn't use a yes answer to avoid the gym. Research has shown that people who work out are more active and healthy as they age. Plus it can increase your lifespan by 2 to 4 years.

Answer the questions and if necessary see your physician. Once you're cleared, get to the gym, follow your doctor's orders and start getting in shape.

Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

3/8/2006