You should always speak with your doctor before you change, start or stop any part of your healthcare plan, including physical activity or exercise. Reading health and exercise information online may be helpful, but it cannot replace the professional diagnosis and treatment you might need from a qualified healthcare provider.
Although there are many health benefits of physical activity, it is not without risks, including musculoskeletal injury, arrhythmia, heart attack and rare sudden cardiac death. However, in most cases, the benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks. People with coronary disease who exercise are overall less likely to have a heart attack than those people with coronary disease who do not exercise.
However, before making any changes to your physical activity routine, your doctor should assess your current health status and inform you of any precautions you should take.
Your doctor may discuss the following with you:
- Especially is you have a history of heart disease, your doctor may want you to have a stress test prior to starting physical activity. A stress test monitors and records your heart’s electrical activity during exercise to determine the effects of exercise on the rate and rhythm of your heart.
- You may have conditions that prevent you from lifting or pushing heavy objects, such as weight lifting, shoveling, raking, mowing, and scrubbing. Your doctor can advise you of any limitations you have during physical activity.
- Your doctor can also help you decide which exercises are safe and may refer you to other qualified health professionals (for example, a physical therapist or an exercise physiologist) for guidance.
Of course, if at any time you think you may have a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately.