5 Tips When Discussing Exercise with Your Doctor

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As men get older, our health care provider becomes a valuable source of wisdom regarding our health and fitness concerns. Yet most baby boomers have no idea how to discuss proactive health issues with them. And in fact, if you don’t ask the right questions, most do not take the time to discuss these things in detail. They will often tell you that you need to get some exercise, but will generally focus only on the current medical problem you are experiencing and provide you with very little detail when it comes to implementing an exercise program. Frequently you will leave their office less sure of how you should exercise than you were when you arrived.

If you have been inactive for a long period of time, talking to your doctor is vital before you begin any new exercise program. Here are a few tips to help you prepare so you can get the best answers possible at your next appointment.

Don’t wait for the doctor to bring up the topic of fitness and exercise.

Frequently the doctor either does not want to embarrass the patient or hurt their feelings. At other times they assume men won’t change their habits anyway, making it pointless to discuss lifestyle changes to any significant degree. Also if your health care provider is out of shape and does not practice a healthy lifestyle they will be less likely to bring the subject up.

To read more about a doctors health choice – from The Health Beat

An interesting new survey presented last month at a meeting of the American Heart Association suggests that physician health plays a role in how they talk to their patients about a healthful lifestyle – and that when they don’t practice what they preach, it might be to the detriment of their patients’ health. – Read More …

Go to your appointment with your questions ready.

The constraints of modern medicine require that only a short period of time allotted to spend with you. If you write down your questions before you go to your appointment, the entire process will go much more smoothly. Let him know at the beginning of your appointment that you have a prepared list of questions. They will generally accommodate your search for particular information and conduct your examination accordingly when possible.

Ask your doctor what types of exercise are appropriate for you.

Your doctor will know or will have your medical history readily available and can let you know which types of exercise you should avoid. Just because you have a friend or family member who has had success with a particular type of exercise program does not mean that the same program will be suitable for you. In fact, based on your particular medical conditions or on particular medications you may be taking, certain exercises may actually be dangerous for you.



Developing and maintaining good cardiovascular fitness can be invaluable for older men. A key aspect of cardiovascular fitness are the concepts of resting and target heart rate. Although some one size fits all formulas exist for determining these numbers, every person can be different. Be sure to ask about your resting heart rate and what your target heart rate should be. Your particular situation may require you to make adjustments to the standard rules of thumb regarding your exercising heart rate.

Here is a quick way to determine your target heart rate from The Fitness Exchange

To calculate your target heart rate, you will need to know your maximum heart rate. Subtract your age from 220, and that will give you your heart rate’s max beats per minute. Now multiply that number by the percentage you’d like to achieve during your workout.

Multiply by 0.50 = 50% Max Heart Rate, in the Warm Up Zone
Multiply by 0.65 = 65% Max Heart Rate, in the Fat Burning Zone
Multiply by 0.75 = 75% Max Heart Rate, in the Cardio Zone
Multiply by 0.85 = 85% Max Heart Rate, in the Performance Training Zone
Read More

Resistance exercise has been shown to be an effective tool in the fight against the ravages of aging. Lifting weights can help you to maintain your independence much longer. Stronger muscles help protect you from falling and keep you able to take care of yourself longer. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the appropriate individualized limits of a weight lifting program.

Here is a site with a 65 year old instructor – Robert Barnett Fitness

Weight Training for Seniors is a short and efficient training regine. I have used this routine over many years and at the age of 65 I continue to make progress. – Robert Barnett

Maintaining a healthy weight is also key to retaining your good health. Discuss your ideal weight and your weight loss or gain goals to help make sure your goals are realistic. He or she will be able to tell you what a realistic weight loss should be given your current physical condition.

Be sure to ask your doctor more details about diet and nutrition.

Your doctor can help you determine how many calories you should be eating each day to stay healthy and also advise you about the types of foods you should be eating to better maintain your health.

Be sure to take notes while you are getting answers to your questions.

The doctor will be covering a lot of information and it may prove difficult to remember it all. You might also want to bring a friend or family member in for this discussion. They might come up with questions you never thought of

As we age, your doctor will prove to be an important partner in your health care. Consult with them proactively to make sure you are taking prudent steps to maintain your long term physical fitness.

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Stay Healthy
Arnold Brod, Publisher

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Photo Source – geralt

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