Most older adults don’t have health problems that would prevent them from doing moderate activity. In fact, there’s a way for almost every older adult to exercise safely and get meaningful health benefits.
You may want to talk with your doctor if you aren’t used to energetic activity and want to start a vigorous exercise program or significantly increase your physical activity. You should also talk with your doctor if you have any health problems. This does not mean that exercise is dangerous. Doctors rarely tell people not to exercise, but they may have certain safety tips for those who have recently had hip or back surgery for instance. Those with uncontrolled health problems or chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis should absolutely discuss your exercise plans with your physician. Your activity level is important to discuss with your doctor as a part of your ongoing preventative health care. Consider talking about exercise with your doctor once a year if your health is stable and more often if your health is getting better or worse over time so that you can adjust your exercise program. Your doctor can assist you in suggesting activities that are best for you and reduce any risks. A few other things you may want to discuss with your doctor are,
• Whether there are exercises that you should avoid
• How an illness or surgery may affect how you exercise
• Understanding how any ongoing health conditions affect exercise and physical activity
Talk about any unexplained symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, pain in your joints, dizziness, or shortness of breath. If you feel any of these symptoms it’s important to pay attention to your body and postpone any further exercise until the problem is diagnosed or treated. Remember, safety first!
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