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The Weight Loss Centre

Is it Safe for Me to Exercise?

push bike....continued

If you have had a heart attack recently, your doctor or cardiac rehabilitation therapist should have given you specific exercises to do. Research has shown that exercises done as part of a cardiac rehabilitation program can improve fitness and even reduce your risk of dying. If you didnít get instructions, call your doctor to discuss exercise before you begin increasing your physical activity.

For some conditions, vigorous exercise is dangerous and should not be done, even in the absence of symptoms. Be sure to check with your physician before beginning any kind of exercise program if you have: S a f e t y

  • abdominal aortic aneurysm, a weakness in the wall of the heartís major outgoing artery (unless it has been surgically repaired or is so small that your doctor tells you that you can exercise vigorously)

  • critical aortic stenosis, a narrowing of one of the valves of the heart.

Most older adults, regardless of age or condition, will do just fine in increasing their physical activity. You might want to show your doctor this book, to open the door to discussions about exercise.


You have already read about precautions you should take if you have a chronic condition. Other circumstances require caution, too. You shouldnít exercise until checking with a doctor if you have:

  • chest pain

  • irregular, rapid, or fluttery heart beat

  • severe shortness of breath

  • significant, ongoing weight loss that hasn't been diagnosed

  • infections, such as pneumonia, accompanied by fever

  • fever, which can cause dehydration and a rapid heart beat

  • acute deep-vein thrombosis (blood clot)

  • a hernia that is causing symptoms

  • foot or ankle sores that won't heal

  • joint swelling

  • persistent pain or a problem walking after you have fallen

  • certain eye conditions, such as bleeding in the retina or detached retina. Before you exercise after a cataract or lens implant, or after surgery, check with your physician

Source: Adapted from National Institute on Aging


Part 1: I'm elderly, what can exercise do for me?

Part 2: Exercises for the elderly

Part 3: Is it safe for me to exercise?

Part 4: Is it safe for me to exercise? ...continued






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