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Exercise Safety Tips for Beginners

Ready, Set, Exercise!


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  • Just a "thumbs up" to Anne's comments about Chair Exercises. I use a walker & thought I was doomed as far as ever being able to do cardio exercises, but started with "Stronger Seniors" dvds & with the help of those (& tracking my portions of food), I've lost 25 lbs in the last 3 months sans injury. Given my starting weight of 310 lbs, in no way could I support the full weight of my body & exercise while standing without hurting myself. So, Chair Exercises are definitely the way to go!
  • Timely advice now that the weather has turned and people feel the need to get out and exercise.

    It is important to point out that not everyone can start with traditional exercise. If you are in a special population (overweight or obese, elderly, diabetic or arthritic), modified exercise could be a good starting point.

    Chair Exercise and water exercise are non-impact options that will get you on the path to consistent exercise without the risk of injury. Since chair and water exercise is a bit easier than some other forms of fitness activities, you will be more likely to stay with your goals and not feel that "I'm too old" or "I'm too sick", or "I'm too heavy."

    Of course, speak with your health care professional before beginning any exercise program if you have been inactive for a while.

    It's never too late to start feeling better, both physically and emotionally. Action does not guarantee happiness, but there can be no happiness without action.

    Write out your goals and start moving. Today!

    Stay strong
    Anne Pringle Burnell
  • I have cold sweats whenever I exercise and a very uncomfortable pressure between the eyes and in the back of my neck near the occipital. Its rather uncomfortable. Why is cold sweats in the list of concern?
  • Hi, I like the article. I tried the links for PARQ and received nothing. I then went to and typed in PARQ and was able to find a pdf of the sheet.

    Also, for those who think they can start and exercise program quickly from nothing and not see a doctor - your body isn't ready for it and you may have hidden health issues that you do not know about. Exercising for health is great until you have a heart attack (etc) because your body isn't ready for the intense program. Taking care of yourself also means to start with the best foot forward - see your health professional! Happy Holidays
  • DIANE2110
    I like the articles and there are many. I haven't been able to find any on breathing during exercises. I seem to always end up doing the reverse breathing from what the exercise calls for. Does it matter when I exhale or inhale?
  • MOM210
    Leanne26, no the point is not for your heart to RACE. There is a difference in increasing your heart rate to a level that gets you in your target heart rate and having a racing heart. Sometimes your heart can race and it'll be ok but a Doctor has to determine that because if you feel nauseous after a workout, that's a bad sign. If you feel tired that's ok. But, there are types of heart racing that can kill you. Check with your doctor to be sure.
    thanks for the link to the PARQ
  • Take it from me, pay attention to the warning to take it slow initially and trying to go from couch potato to exercise maven overnight is a great way to have issues. Nice and slow at first. Best way to develop habits that will last while not putting yourself at great risk.
    FLYINGDOG- Thanks for the heads up. I fixed that link.
  • The PAR-Q link is not working, but you can find it here:
  • This is a great article. The emphasis on safety and the exercise warning signs are very important. A year ago I would have been a person who just started to exercise and would tough it out. A heart attack was my first sign of heart disease. Now I exercise under guidance from my cardiologist. My target heart rate is lower than usually suggested for my age. My recommended speed of walking is much slower than most people post here on Spark People but it gets me in my target zone and I sweat and breathe hard. I have learned to accept that it will take me 6 days of exercising to burn the calories that Spark People suggests I should be able to burn exercising 3 days for 30 minutes. Everyone is different and it is very important to listen to what our body is telling us.
    I'm pretty sure my heart races every time I work out. Isn't that the point? To make your heart go faster? Also, I usually get kind of sick feeling if I do a strenuous work out, but then it subsides and I'm alive. I guess my point is, some of the "don't exersice if this happens to you" list, seems silly.
  • Great article. PBS-TV's NOVA featured couch-potato people chosen to train as marathon runners. Tufts University doctors were surprised to find many of them were "skinny-fat", being normal weight on a scale, but having high internal fat and little muscle. This is why a full physical is really important.
  • This is a simple and well written article. Straightforward and to the point. As an RN I applaud the emphasis on prevention, safety and common sense here. I have come to expect nothing less from Dean!

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