Exercising Safely

If you feel safe and comfortable while exercising, you are more likely to stick to your exercise program. The guidelines below can help. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your health care provider.

Man and woman outdoors walking in comfortable clothes.

Dressing right

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes. Dress in layers on cool days. That way you can remove a layer if you get too warm.

  • Always wear shoes that fit well and that are designed for exercise.

  • When it’s cool outside, wear a hat to retain your body heat.

  • To protect your eyes and skin from the sun, wear a visor or hat and use sunscreen.

Exercising safely

  • Exercise indoors when it’s too hot or too cold outside, or when the air quality is poor. Try walking at a shopping mall.

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise (unless you are on a water-restricted diet).

  • Check your pace. You should be able to talk without being out of breath. If you can sing, you may need to increase your pace.

  • If you use medication for angina, always carry it with you.

  • Don’t exercise on days when you are ill or if you forget to take your medications.

Stop exercising and call your doctor if you:

  • Have chest pain, or if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or severely weak

  • Feel burning, tightness, pressure, or heaviness in your chest, neck, shoulders, back, or arms

  • Have unusual shortness of breath

  • Have unusual increased joint or muscle pain

  • Have palpitations or an irregular heartbeat