October 30, 2020

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary? By Sarah Johnson

If you’ve recently joined a gym or enlisted the guidance of a Fitness Professional, you may be asked to provide a Medical Clearance to Exercise.

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary or Waste of Time?

Is medical clearance to exercise really important?
Yes. Safety is top priority. We want you to get in a great workout, and we want to be sure you’re doing it in a safe manner.

How to obtain medical clearance to exercise? Getting medical approval prior to starting an exercise program shouldn’t be difficult.  Your Fitness Professional should hand you a form for your physician to review and sign. Call your doctors office and simply request that your physician review and email/fax/mail in your facility’s clearance form. Once it’s received and discussed with your Fitness Professional, you can usually begin your workout immediately.

What if you don’t have a regular doctor to review the form? Ask your friends for the name of their doctor. Having a doctor who is familiar with your health history is of benefit to everyone. Make an appointment and proceed from there.

WHY is medical clearance important? Exercise should be enjoyable and effective. There are many medical issues that may affect the type, duration or intensity of exercise you should be performing: high blood pressure, heart rate limitations, bone or joint injuries and others. You may not even be aware of your medical conditions until consulting with your doctor. It is very important that your fitness instructor or gym facility knows that you may have some restrictions before beginning an exercise program because:
A) we don’t want you to get hurt or further injured.
B) you may not be able to reach your goals as quickly or effectively without some modifications due to your considerations.

Once medical clearance has been accepted, you’ll be on your journey to better health!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

5 Myths about Older Adult Exercise by Jody Goldenfield

 As we age, many of us buy into the notion that we can’t do certain activities because we are 55 or 65 or 75 or even 85. This is a myth! There are numerous studies showing that older adults can benefit both physically AND mentally from exercise! Here are 5 reasons why exercise is not only good for older adults but also important for their health:
Myth 1: Older adults can’t make significant muscle gains.
This is absolutely false. Credible organizations have proven that adults in their 70’s and 80’s and yes even 90’s can improve their fitness and gain muscle with a weight training program. There are numerous new stories on older adult competitive athletes running races and doing triathlons! Even if you start later in life, studies still show that you can make significant improvements in your health! Always be sure to learn from an accredited trainer who is certified and has advanced education training older adults.
Myth 2: I have existing health conditions that prevent me from exercising.
On the contrary, exercising can actually improve and help with existing conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart conditions and more. Always check with your doctor first, but most adults will reap the benefits of improved health and may even be able to reduce or eliminate some medications due to their improved condition.
Myth 3: I am too old – my joints hurt.
Again, studies show that joints can be strengthened and muscle gained later in life, even if you have not been doing anything regularly prior to starting an exercise program. Begin slowly, but you can walk, swim and even ride a stationary bike along with weight training. There are programs for older adults that have chair exercises that allow adults to improve over time. If walking is difficult, there are plenty of programs that help older adults work their body from a wheel chair, for example. Once again, find an accredited trainer in older adult exercise programs.
Myth 4: I am afraid I will hurt myself or fall.
Truthfully, falls are one of the main reasons why older adults end up in a hospital with broken hips or bone fractures. Starting an exercise program that will strengthen your muscles and joints not only leads to reduced incidences of falls and bone breaks. The reason for many of these falls and breaks is because a person has NOT strengthened the body. Don’t be afraid! 
Myth 5: I am just too old to do anything.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER! You are what you believe you are! I will be 55 in November. Yes, I have been exercising for over 30 years but I never use my age as an excuse not to try harder and challenge myself. I lift heavier weights, I run and use other cardio machines at the gym. You are only limited by your own mind and what you tell yourself you can and can’t do.

If you are just starting out, there are plenty of ways to improve your overall health. Find activities that you like and are fun for you. You don’t have to do “traditional” workouts. Dance, swim, walk AND include resistance training. Your body will thank you for it and your mind as well! Studies show that an active person can improve their memory ability AND they are happier as well! Let’s get moving!
Written by Jody Goldenfield. I love weight lifting and am a health, fitness & workout enthusiast for over 30+years. At just short of 55, I am making sure I stay fit & healthy long term! I am also a FitFluential Ambassador. You can follow me at my blog Truth2BeingFit, http://www.truth2beingfit.com, Twitter @truth2beingfit, https://twitter.com/truth2beingfitFacebook and on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/truth2beingfit/.