How do you know if it’s safe for you to exercise? It’s simple – prior to commencing any kind of exercise programme, complete a par-q questionnaire (below).
If you answer yes to any of the questions in the par-q, you should seek advice, either from a qualified instructor or from your local GP.
If you aren't sure, then go ahead and make an appointment at your local surgery for a health check. They will provide an overall health check up that will go above and beyond what a simple questionnaire like the par-q can provide.
- Have you ever suffered from any injury/illness, back or joint condition that you feel may be aggravated by exercise?
- Have you ever had arthritis, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy or circulation problems?
- Have you ever had a heart condition, palpitations, murmurs or pains in the chest while exercising?
- Do you fell faint or suffer from dizziness?
- Have you ever suffered from high blood pressure?
- Are you taking any medication?
- Are you pregnant or given birth in the last 2 months?
- Have you had surgery recently?
- Is there any condition not mentioned here that you feel may be affected by exercise?
Although you should consult a doctor or trainer if you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t assume that this will preclude you from exercising. In fact, it’s likely that the opposite will apply.
While in the past, doctors tended to advise many people with a health condition not to exercise, these days it is recognized that exercise is actually beneficial to almost everyone, including many groups who in the past would not have been seen as benefiting from exercise, such as the elderly, pregnant women, people who have suffered heart attacks, and those with back conditions.
The reality is that the human body is designed to move, and our sedentary lifestyles are responsible for many of the problems that are reaching epidemic proportions in the west, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and cancer.
Indeed, some doctors are now starting to suggest that lack of exercise should be seen as an unnatural condition, as prejudicial to your health as habits like bad diet or smoking.
So do the par-q test, have a check up if you need it, then find a way to get more exercise in your life. It is one of the most positive things you can do for your overall health and well-being.