FPL | Before You Begin to Exercise

Before You Begin to Exercise

Need a doctor's recommendation | Determine your goals | Determine what you like to do | Wear the right attire | Begin slowly | Warm-up and cool-down periods

Before you begin to exercise, take some time to review the recommendations of the FPL-WELL staff. These recommendations can help you in making a smooth and enjoyable transition into a successful exercise program. The recommendations include:

  • determine if you need a doctor's recommendation
  • set goals
  • determine what you like to do
  • wear the right attire
  • begin slowly and
  • start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down period.

Need a doctor's recommendation

One way to determine if you need a doctor's recommendation is by answering the following Par-Q Questionnaire. If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, please call FPL-WELL at 561-694-6242 to have a medical clearance form sent to you, for your physician complete, prior to exercise at the FPL-WELL Fitness Centers.

Par-Q Questionnaire:

  • Has a doctor ever said you have a heart condition and recommended only medically supervised physical activity?
  • Do you have chest pain brought on by physical activity?
  • Have you developed chest pain within the past month?
  • Do you tend to lose consciousness or fall over as a result of dizziness?
  • Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be aggravated by the proposed physical activity?
  • Has a doctor ever recommended medication for your blood pressure or a heart condition?
  • Are you aware, through your own experience or a doctor's advice, of any other physical reason against your exercising without medical supervision?

Determine your goals

Determine your goals. What you want to accomplish through exercise is necessary for deciding what type of activity you do.

Example: If your goal is to improve cardiovascular capacity, an exercise prescription would include mostly activities that stress the heart, like fast walking or cycling.

Determine what you like to do

Determine what you like to do. Decide what activity you would find most enjoyable. Your adherence to the program depends on this choice! If you enjoy your time exercising and do not feel as though you are performing a chore, you will most likely continue doing it.

Wear the right attire

Wear the attire appropriate to the activity you choose. If you are exercising outdoors, choose your clothing according to the elements.

Example: If it's hot and humid, wear light colored, sweat absorbing fabrics. If it's cold and windy, layer your clothing. Select your shoes carefully, depending upon the activity.

Begin slowly

Begin slowly. Many people try to undo numerous years of inactivity in a few days or weeks. This type of trauma to your body will result in sore muscles and joints.

Example: Choosing light weights or no weight when beginning a resistance training program will not only limit muscle injury, but will assist you in perfecting your technique. Listen to your body!

Warm-up and cool-down periods

Start with a warm-up period and end with a cool-down period.

  • Doing a 5-minute warm-up is essential for increasing circulation to the muscles. Stretching before and after an activity will increase your flexibility and also will reduce the risk of injury.
  • Cooling down after an exercise session allows the heart beat to return to normal levels gradually. This decreases the chance of fainting or light-headedness attributed to an abrupt stop in activity.