If you’ve chosen to start a new fitness journey, congratulations — you’re already one step closer to feeling happier and healthier in body, mind and spirit. After this important decision should come an equally important check-in with your primary care physician.
If you don’t have a primary care doctor, or you’re new to the area, you can find one near you, here.
If you already have a doctor appointment coming up — like an annual physical, for example — you can jot down a few topics to discuss with your physician then, including your new workout plan. If you don’t have any appointments coming up, schedule an appointment to talk about how to add exercise into your daily life safely and effectively.
When you talk with your doctor about your new fitness journey, you can plan to talk about:
- Any chronic health conditions you have
- Any pain or physical limitations you have
- How you’re feeling physically and mentally
- Why you want to start this journey
- Your current activity levels and exercise preferences
- Your current diet and any dietary needs
- Your weight-loss goals, if applicable
Together, you and your doctor can address your concerns, discuss your goals and build a fitness plan that’s both realistic and achievable.
Ask Your Doctor These Questions Before a New Fitness Journey
Depending on your needs and goals, ask your doctor specific questions before you get started with a new fitness venture to ensure that you’ll be safe and that you’ll see the results you want, too.
What Kind of Exercise Is the Best Fit for Me?
There are probably some exercises you like more than others, and not every exercise is right for everyone, either. Your doctor can help you figure out which ones may be best for you and point out exercises that might do more harm than good.
If you have arthritis, for example, your doctor may tell you to avoid from high-impact activities like jogging or jumping rope, and encourage gentler options like walking or cycling. If you use a wheelchair or have other mobility limitations, your doctor may have specific recommendations for which types of exercise would work for you.
How Much Exercise or Activity Should I Aim For?
Many people benefit from exercising two to three days per week, but you can choose the timeframe that works best for you. Overall, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity (think brisk walking) along with two sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises each week.
If you haven’t been active for a while, start with shorter bouts of exercise and gradually build up to what your doctor recommends. To get started, you can check out 10 ways to get moving.
Will Exercise Affect My Medications?
Depending on what you take on a daily basis, you may need to take your medications into consideration when developing a new exercise plan. Your doctor may say that if you use insulin, for example, you might need to change your medication dosage or timing around your exercise plan.
In addition to your medications, be sure to discuss with your doctor any dietary supplements or vitamins that you’d like to try out, before you buy them.
Is It Safe for Me to Exercise Regularly With This New Plan?
Above all, make sure you know when it’s safe for you to work out. If you have a chronic health condition, you may need to structure your exercise routine around it, and your doctor can give you advice on how to do so.
If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is too high, for example, your doctor may caution you against working out. Or, if you’ve been sick with a cold or the flu, you may need to take a few days off and ease back into it gradually.
After you discuss these questions — and any others you may have thought of while reading this — with your doctor, you should be good to go with your new wellness journey. With your doctor’s support, you can start a rewarding fitness routine that can help you feel healthy and whole, in body, mind and spirit.
Supporting You With a Personalized Wellness Program
At AdventHealth, we want to help you lose weight (if that’s in your fitness plan) and reach your goals but, more importantly, we want to empower you to feel healthy and whole from the inside out.
Our exercise physiologists, personal trainers, massage therapists and more dedicated people are ready to work with you one-on-one, so you can feel healthy and happy. Start here to take the first step toward feeling whole.