Staying safe while exercising

Stay Safe While Exercising – Go4Life!

Aging Life Care Association™ is proud to be a partner in Go4Life® — an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH in collaboration with the 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Staying Safe While Exercising

You may already know that exercise is an important part of staying healthy. But how can you stay safe while exercising? The good news is that exercise and moderate physical activity are safe for almost everyone, including older adults. Here are a few things to keep in mind while exercising.

1. Take precautions to avoid injury. The key to exercising safely, especially when just beginning an exercise program, is moderation.

  • When starting an exercise program, start slowly with low-intensity exercises.
  • Wait at least 2 hours after eating a large meal before doing strenuous exercise.
  • Wear appropriate shoes and comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Warm up with low-intensity exercises at the beginning of each exercise session.
  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty.
  • If exercising outdoors, pay attention to your surroundings, including the weather, traffic hazards, uneven walking surfaces, and strangers.

2. Keep an eye out for signs that you should stop exercising. You might experience minor discomfort or muscle soreness when you start to exercise. This should go away as you get used to the activities. However, if an exercise is too intense, your body will give you stronger signals that you need to stop. If you experience any of the following, stop exercising and follow up with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and any modifications you should consider.

  • Pain or pressure in your chest, neck, shoulder, or arm
  • Dizziness or feeling sick to your stomach
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Muscle cramps
  • Severe pain in joints, feet, ankles, or legs

3. Consider talking with your doctor. In some situations, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. If you have an ongoing health condition or certain other health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, or if you haven’t seen your doctor for a while, check with your doctor about your plans to start exercising.

Try this Go4Life Balance Exercise.  Balance is important because it can help reduce your risk for falls. For more on reducing your risk for falls, click here.

To find out more about how you can exercise safely, visit the Go4Life® website at is an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH. It has exercises, success stories, and free materials to help you get ready, start exercising, and keep going.

For assistance in planning for healthy aging, quality care, and an optimal life, connect with an Aging Life Care Professional™ – the experts in aging well. An Aging Life Care Professional will work with you or your loved ones to develop a tailored, individual care plan. Find an expert at


This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, nor is it intended to be a substitute for, professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information on this blog does not necessarily reflect official positions of the Aging Life Care Association™ and is provided “as is” without warranty. Always consult with a qualified professional with any particular questions you may have regarding your or a family member’s needs.


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