Questions to Ask Before Starting an Exercise Program

Exercise is good for everyone. Keys to getting the most out of exercise is making sure the activities are safe and don't have a negative impact on your health.

Before you begin your exercise program, consider any health concerns or problems you might have. Ask yourself the following questions:

Has a doctor ever told me that I have a heart condition and recommended only medically supervised exercise? Yes No
Do I know of any other reason I need medical supervision when I exercise? Yes No
Do I get chest discomfort when I exercise? Yes No
Have I started to get chest discomfort in the last week? Yes No
Do I get dizzy spells that cause me to fall or lose consciousness? Yes No
Do I have a bone or joint problem that could get worse by exercising? Yes No
Has a doctor ever recommended medicine for high blood pressure or a heart condition? Yes No
Do I have glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or any other eye problems that could get worse by doing certain exercises? Yes No
Has my doctor or other member of my care team ever told me that I have problems with feeling in my feet? Yes No
Have I ever had a foot ulcer or wound that was hard to heal? Yes No
If I have diabetes, do I have problems controlling my blood sugar levels? Yes No

You can print this list of questions and take it to your doctor or nurse. Before beginning your exercise program, it's a good idea to discuss your answers with a member of your health care team. He or she can work with you to choose the kinds of exercises that will benefit you the most.

Clinical review by Art Resnick, MD
Kaiser Permanente
Reviewed 03/01/2014