STAYING SAFE WITH EXERCISE
Almost anyone, at any age, can safely do some kind of exercise and physical activity. You can be active even if you have a long-term condition, like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. Staying safe while you exercise is always important, whether you’re just starting a new activity or you haven’t been active for a long time.
TALKING WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
Most people don’t need to check with their health care provider first before doing physical activity. However, you may want to talk with your health care provider if you aren’t used to energetic activity and you want to start a vigorous exercise program or significantly increase your physical activity. Your activity level is an important topic to discuss with your health care provider as part of your ongoing health care. Ask how physical activity can help you, whether you should avoid certain activities, and how to modify exercises to fit your situation.
Other reasons to talk with your health care provider:
- Any new symptoms you haven’t yet discussed
- Dizziness, shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- The feeling that your heart is skipping, racing, or fluttering
- Blood clots
- An infection or fever with muscle aches
- Unplanned weight loss
- Foot or ankle sores that won’t heal
- Joint swelling
- A bleeding or detached retina, eye surgery, or laser treatment
- A hernia
- Recent hip or back surgery
FINDING A FITNESS TRAINER
If you’ve decided to become more active but want some extra help, working with a fitness trainer may be just the thing. A trainer can help you choose exercises that are right for you and show you how to do them safely.
One of the best ways to find a personal trainer is to get a referral from someone you know who has a great trainer. Ask your friends and family or your health care provider. You also can check with a local health club or senior center. Once you have a couple of names, here are a few questions to help you pick the right person. If you can answer YES to most of these questions, you’re probably on the right track.
Some Sample Questions to Ask:
- Does the trainer have a passion for working with older adults and seniors?
- Does the trainer have education or experience in exercise science and aging?
- Is the trainer certified by an accredited organization?
- Is the trainer experienced in working with people of your age and/or with your medical condition?