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Know Your Limits (updated)

Published: February 01, 2013

It's time to get physically active
It's time to get physically active
You've made up your mind that this year is the year that you are going to do something about your health by getting physically active. Having made this decision you are probably eager to get going, but where do you start?
A good starting point is to assess your health and every day commitments. Here are some factors you may want to consider: 
  • Your current health status
  • Your present physical activity level
  • Your physical activity preferences
  • The time you have to participate in physical activity
  • Work, family and social commitments
Perhaps one reason that you have decided to increase your physical activity is that you want to improve your health. You may be concerned that you are at risk for coronary heart disease or other chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, or stroke.
The risk factors for coronary heart disease are:
  • Family histsory of heart disease
  • hypertension
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • obesity (BMI>30)
  • elevated serum cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • smoking
People often worry that increasing their physical activity, especially if they do not consider themselves to be very fit, may increase their risk for health problems.
Some people are at increased risk for particular diseases, but for most people the health benefits of being physically active on a regular basis outweigh the risks associated with being sedentary and/or any health risks associated with doing physical activity.
If you are concerned about your health in any way then you may want to book an appointment with your family doctor to discuss your health concerns. If you are generally fairly healthy or not sure whether you should check with your doctor there are a couple of health questionnaires that can help you determine whether you can go ahead and exercise or whether you should check with your doctor.
The questionnaires, which you complete yourself, can be found through the following links: 
http://parmedx.appspot.com/   http://www.wfx-fit.ca/training/PARQ.pdf  
Before embarking on a physical activity program you may want to asses your current physical activity level, the physical activitie you already participate in, the physical activities you enjoy and how much time you have to participate in your chosen physical activities. Read the full article to find out more about physical activity and how to determine the type and amount of physical activity that is right for you.

Related Topics

Health  Physical Capabilities  Your Body