Should You Start a Running Program?

As physicians who specialize in sports medicine, we know very well the benefits of exercise. Running is a great way to get in shape. It helps control weight and provides tremendous long-term cardiovascular benefits. Most people can feel comfortable about starting an exercise program without risk, but there are certain people who should consult with a physician prior to initiating a program.

Please review these questions to see if it is advisable for your to consult with a physician. These are adapted from the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q):

  • Has a doctor ever diagnosed you with a heart condition, high blood pressure or restricted your activity in any way?
  • Do you take any medications for a heart condition or high blood pressure?
  • Do you experience chest pain with or without activity?
  • Do you experience dizziness that causes you to lose balance?
  • Have you ever passed out or lost consciousness?
  • Have you been diagnosed with diabetes or any kind of chronic kidney disease?
  • Do you have any bone or joint problems that are worsened by activity?
  • Are you 70 years of age or older and starting a new exercise program?
  • Do you know of any reason you should not participate in physical activity or have ANY concerns about your health?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, we recommend you consult with your primary care physician prior to beginning an exercise program. If you don’t have a primary care physician, you may call the Borgess Physician Referral line, 269-226-8135, or 1-800-828-8135 toll free.

  Tom Goodwin, D.O.