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In most cases, the benefits of exercise far out-weight the possible risks, but it's important to understand what could happen.

There is always the possibility of injury while exercising. You could pull a muscle or sprain an ankle, but these things could occur in everyday activities as well. Spending about 10 minutes warming up before exercising will help prevent injuries. It is also important to cool down and stretch after your exercise session.

There are certain medical conditions that should not be ignored when beginning an exercise program. If you have any of these conditions, you should have a careful conversation with your doctor before starting to exercise.

Unstable angina (chest pain)
Angina or chest pain that comes on with activity
Severe heart failure with shortness of breath
An active infection
Heart rhythm problems such as arrhythmias or atrial fibrillation that is not well-controlled
Very high blood pressure
Uncontrolled diabetes
Dizziness or fainting


To help determine whether you are physically ready to begin an exercise program, download a pdf of the Modified Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q)

If you answered YES to any of the questions, talk with your doctor BEFORE you become more physically active. Tell your doctor your intent to exercise and to which questions you answer ‘yes.’