The Importance of a Medical Checkup Before Working Out for the First Time

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

So you’re starting a new chapter in your life by working out for the first time. You hired a personal trainer to get you started and you’re raring to live healthily. Before jumping headfirst into physical fitness, have you considered going through a health screening exam?

Working out requires peak physical health. Unfortunately, most people overlook a medical checkup before signing up to the gym. There could be many reasons for this. Others find it impractical while some think it’s embarrassing. But put your reservations aside and get that exam, it’s for your own good. Skipping a health screening could lead to a lower quality program design. It also increases the risk of injuries.

What is a Medical Checkup?

A medical checkup is an analysis of your health conducted by a physician. Before working out, you will be asked to fill out a form that covers basic information about your health history. This is an important tool for developing a safe workout program. You will include basic information about your demographic (age, sex, occupation) as well as your fitness history, health risk factors, and medications. The exam will cover your recent injuries, illnesses, and family medical history.

Once an analysis of your health history is completed, a physician will conduct a series of tests to check your health. At that point, you can ask your doctor about any concerns you may have. The findings will be presented to your trainer. If the tests reveal certain risk factors or an underlying problem, your trainer will adjust the fitness program accordingly.

Benefits of Getting a Medical Checkup before Working out for the First Time

Identifies Possible Health Conditions and Risk Factors

A medical exam before working out is important for a reason. You might think you’re healthy as a horse but what if you have an underlying disease you know nothing about? A medical exam will uncover possible health conditions and risks factors that could put you at risk for various activities.

Optimize Your Workout

Wouldn’t it be great to have a fitness routine that is customized according to your needs? A skilled trainer can only do so much. He has to know your health status before developing the best fitness plan. He can modify your training to prevent any trouble you’ve encountered in the past. And he can do that by checking out your medical exam results.

For Legal Reasons

Some gyms require all members to undergo a physical exam before working out. This minimizes the risk of injuries once members started using the facility.

Improves Communication and Safety

It’s important to let your trainer know about your needs and concerns. And fitness trainers have to know about their clients’ physical status before they can create a fitness plan. If you have certain concerns about your own fitness plan, let your trainer know. Don’t be shy to ask the hard questions if you are unsure. If your trainer did not request a medical exam before starting the program, consider the qualifications of your trainer.

When to Check with Your Doctor

While moderate exercise is safe for most people, we recommend talking to your doctor if you have a history of the following: Heart disease
Lung disease
Diabetes or Kidney disease
Gout or Arthritis

Check with your doctor if you feel any of the following symptoms:

Chest pain
Dizziness
Shortness of breath
Rapid heartbeat
Heart murmur
Pain in the lower legs


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