Do you actually need to see a doctor before starting a new exercise program?

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"Always consult a physician before beginning any exercise program." You’ve probably seen this disclaimer before – but do you actually need to follow this advice? For most people, adding more physical activity to your life can do great things for your health, but in some cases you might need to take one important step before you begin you sign-up for the gym or go out for your first run: schedule a consultation with your doctor.

Seeing the doctor before starting a new fitness program will be beneficial for anyone, but it is essential if:

  • you have existing health problems
  • you are significantly overweight
  • you are unsteady on your feet or have dizzy spells
  • you are currently not physically active

Take a closer look below at the reasons you shouldn’t ignore warnings to consult a physician before using certain equipment or starting a fitness program.

Be sure that exercise is safe for your current level of fitness

Pushing your body too far with exercise can be just as detrimental as not exercising at all. Your doctor can provide an assessment of your current fitness to help you learn where you might start with regular physical activity. This will help you avoid complications like chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath when you work out.

Address unique challenges in your physical activity

If you have any preexisting health condition, including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, or asthma, you should talk to your doctor about how you can safely exercise with these conditions. Your doctor may give you personalized guidance or provide a referral to a specialist or trainer who can help you build a better workout routine for your specific needs.

Waiting on an appointment with your primary physician may postpone your new workout routine, but MeMD can provide a quick and easy online consultation with a board-certified medical provider to help you get started right away.