Precautions to take before starting
Before beginning any new program of physical activity, talk with your doctor about the kinds of activities you wish to participate in and follow his/her advice. This is especially important if:

• Your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition or that you should engage in physical activity only under your doctor’s guidance.
• You feel pain in your chest when you are physically active.
• In the past month, you had chest pain when you were not engaged in physical activity.
• You lose your balance because of dizziness or you ever lose consciousness.
• You have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity.
• Your doctor currently prescribes drugs (for example, water pill) for your blood pressure or heart condition.
• You are or may be pregnant.
• You know of any other reason why you should not be physically active.

Begin your physical activity slowly and build up gradually. If you are not feeling well because of a temporary illness, such as a cold or a fever, wait until you feel better and talk with your doctor.

*Adapted from the 2002 revision to the Physical Activity Readiness
“To avoid soreness and injury, individuals contemplating an increase in physical activity should start out slowly and gradually build up to the desired amount to give the body time to adjust. People with chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, or who are at high risk for these problems should first consult a physician before beginning a new program of physical activity."*