Have a Health Screening Before Starting an Exercise Regime
This is a guest post by Richard, a freelance writer and a fitness aficionado in his spare time, amongst other things. He welcomes your social visits on Twitter as @thefreshhealth and over on Google+ as +Writer Rich.
Exercise is great for your health and deciding to start an exercise programme is a positive step forward. However, it is always a good idea to have a health check before you start any diet or fitness regime to make sure that you are healthy and ready for action.
Why a Health Check is Important
Exercise has a range of health benefits but there are risks associated with it, especially if you have not done any physical activity for a while. You may assume that you can summon up the fitness you built up years ago when you used to play for a football team or you visited the gym four times a week, but sadly this is not the case and you lose your fitness pretty quickly once you stop exercising on a regular basis. If you are not used to exercising and you suddenly throw yourself into a hardcore training regime, the risk of injury is high.
A health check is a good idea for everyone now and again. Unlike going to the dentist, for example, most people only tend to see their doctor when they are ill and have obvious symptoms. This means that most of us have no real idea of how healthy we are. A quick health check with any walk in doctors will ensure that your body is in good working order and check that you are ready to start an exercise routine.
Some forms of exercise are not suitable for people with certain injuries or health conditions and your doctor may recommend specific activities. For example, if you have back problems, you may be advised to avoid lifting weights, cycling or rowing and try swimming instead.
What happens at a Health Check?
If you arrange for a health check with your doctor prior to starting an exercise regime it is likely that they will check your blood pressure, heart rate and pulse, and ask you questions about your general health and medical history. If you have a history of heart problems or you have diabetes or anaemia, your doctor may issue special advice when it comes to exercise.
Things to Remember when Starting an Exercise Routine
It is best to get professional advice when you embark upon a new exercise routine. This way you can ensure that the programme is pitched at the right level and prevent injuries and illness caused by pushing yourself too hard.
Before you exercise you must warm-up thoroughly. This should prepare your muscles and cardiovascular system for exercise, so combine light cardiovascular exercise such as jogging and shuttle runs with stretches to warm up the muscles.
If you are exercising your body is burning more fuel, so make sure you eat well. Slow-releasing carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta, rice and bread are best for providing energy over a long period of time. Always remember to take a drink with you, as staying hydrated is essential for good performance.
Exercise and your health
If you experience any unexpected symptoms during or after exercise, such as chest pain, breathing difficulties or muscular pain, see your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess the situation and advise you whether or not it is safe to carry on with the exercise programme.
If you are thinking of starting a new exercise regime, take time to see your doctor; it is always better to be safe than sorry and the check will only take a short period of time.