Are You Ready to Exercise?

Are you ready for a regular exercise program or should you see your doctor before you start your exercise program.

The Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) can help you decide. (1) It is designed for people between the ages of 15 and 69 years old.

Answer yes or no to each of the following questions:

1. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity that is recommended by a doctor?

2. Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity?

3. In the past month have you had pain in your chest when you were not doing exercise?

4. Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose consciousness?

5. Do you have a bone or joint problem (for example, back, knee, or hip) that could be made worse by a   change in your physical activity?

6. Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart  condition?

7. Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then you should see your doctor for a checkup before beginning an exercise program.

If you answered no honestly to all the questions, it is likely that you can safely safely exercise at moderate intensity. Moderate intensity is activity that is equivalent to brisk walking.

To help you set your exercise goals you can download the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. (2)

If you answered yes to any of the questions above you should see your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Your doctor may use a physical activity readiness medical examination form such as the PARmed-x. (3)

(1)PAR-Q, a screening form to determine if you can safely exercise is available at http://www.csep.ca/cmfiles/publications/parq/par-q.pdf.

(2) 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is available at http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf.

(3) PARmed-X, physical activity readiness medical examination form (4 pages)  available at http://www.csep.ca/cmfiles/publications/parq/parmed-x.pdf.

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