Keeping physically active is key to a healthy lifestyle. But sometimes it’s best to check with your doctor before you start to exercise.

Regular exercise can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, and strengthen your bones and muscles. But before you put on your workout shoes, you may want to talk to your doctor. Although physical activity is perfectly safe for most people, sometimes it’s important to get a doctor’s OK before you exercise.
Talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program if:
You’re a man older than age 40 or a woman older than age 50
You’ve had a heart attack
You have a family history of heart disease before age 55
You have heart, lung, liver or kidney disease
You feel pain in your chest, joints or muscles during physical activity
You have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis or asthma
You’ve had joint replacement surgery
You smoke
You’re overweight or obese
You take medication to manage a chronic condition
You have an untreated joint or muscle injury, or persistent symptoms after a joint or muscle injury
You’re pregnant
You’re unsure of your health status
Working with your doctor ahead of time may be the best way to plan an exercise program that’s right for you. Consider it the first step on the path to physical fitness.