People who have not been exercising for a long time (or ever), are clouded with the uncertainty of whether it is safe to begin exercise, especially if they have some health condition such as high BP or diabetes. But, the truth is that most adults can begin exercising once they rule out significant health risk. The PARQ (Physical Activity Readiness questionnaire) test, given below is one very well accepted way of assessing whether you are fit to exercise

If the PARQ is positive, that is, you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, you should get your doctor’s advice (and may be a few tests) before you begin exercising

Find below the PARQ questionnaire, go through it and embark on your fitness journey with confidence

PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire)

1 Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should  only perform physical activity recommended by a doctor?
2 Do you feel pain in your chest when you perform physical activity?
3 In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not performing any

physical activity?

4 Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose


5 Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in

your physical activity?

6 Is your doctor currently prescribing any medication for your blood pressure or

for a heart condition?

7 Do you know of any other reason why you should not engage in physical


If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these, you should consult your doctor before exercising and get advice on what type and how much exercise you should do

Who needs to see their doctor or get exercise ecg test done before starting regular exercise?

Expert agencies have opined that regular pre exercise ECG or exercise stress test is not warranted in people with no symptoms of CVD and negative PARQ test. In fact, the exercise stress test can result in untoward anxiety and  further unnecessary tests which may themselves cause complications!

For people with more severe health conditions such as CVD and diabetes with eye, kidney or feet complications, it is best to consult your doctor to rule out complications that may put you at high risk and then get an exercise regimen tailored for you with the help of a fitness expert or physiotherapist. But the effort is well worth it, since exercise is found to benefit these people unequivocally

CHECK OUT: Our references for exercise recommendations