Regular physical activity is fun and healthy, and increasingly more people are starting to become more active. Being more active is very safe for most people. However, some people should check with their doctor before they start becoming much more physically active. Experts advise that people with chronic diseases, such as a heart condition, arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure, should talk to their doctor about what types and amounts of physical activity are appropriate.
If you have symptoms that could be due to a chronic disease you should have these symptoms evaluated, whether you are active or inactive. If you plan to start a new activity program, take the opportunity to get these symptoms evaluated. Symptoms of particular importance to evaluate include chest pain (especially chest pain that is brought on by exertion), loss of balance (especially loss of balance leading to a fall), dizziness, and passing out (loss of consciousness).
The physical activity readiness questionnaire (PAR-Q) will help you determine if you should check with your doctor before you start. If you are aged 69 years or older and are not used to being active, check with your doctor. Common sense is your best guide when you answer these questions. Please read the questions carefully and answer each one honestly.
–The PAR Q & You Questionnaire* (PDF-208K) from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.