If you’re thinking about beginning an exercise programme, before you rush out to your nearest leisure club and sign up for a year’s membership, or perhaps start jogging around the block, your first step should be to honestly assess your current fitness levels. Start by completing our health status questionnaire so that you do not run the risk of injury when starting out in exercise, or something more serious.
If you answer yes to one or more of the questions, book an appointment with your doctor to discuss your exercise plans. Your doctor will certainly welcome your plans to improve your fitness but will also be able to advise you if there are any specific precautions that you should take, relevant to your personal medical history. If you answer no to all the questions and/or your doctor gives you the all-clear then you’re ready to improve your fitness and start your exercise programme.
Training safety check and health status questionnaire
Complete the exercise questionnaire below by answering each question honestly and accurately, based on your current lifestyle and levels of fitness, rather than historical fitness levels. If you are at all in doubt then consult your doctor.
- Are you aged over 30?
- Are you a smoker?
- Have you recently given up smoking?
- Have you undergone any major surgery in the past 10 years?
- Have you undergone any minor surgery in the past two years?
- Are you currently on any prescribed medication?
- Do you suffer from any medical conditions?
- Are you pregnant?
- Have you given birth in the last 12 months?
- Was your most recent, regular exercise over 12 months ago?
- Do you have any areas of soreness around the body?
- Are you suffering from any known injuries?
- Do you suffer from any other health conditions?
- Are you at all unsure about beginning an exercise program?
- Is your Body Mass Index above 25?
First steps towards exercise
Once you’ve checked that it’s safe for you to start exercising, it is worthwhile linking up with a fitness professional for training advice and guidance. A good fitness expert should be able to advise on a comprehensive range of relevant health and fitness topics, including:
- The most appropriate types of exercise for you
- The correct way to execute each exercise
- Technique for exercising
- Appropriate footwear and kit for your chosen activities
Getting correct advice will ensure that you train safely and effectively and you will find that you will also progress faster towards your goals by starting out on the right path. Simply by following the guidelines above, you will give yourself the best possible chance of exercising correctly and maximising your fitness gains along the way.