Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | August 28, 2008

Assessing the Risks of an Exercise Program: Part 2

    Greetings!  In my last post, I introduced the seven positive risk factors for Coronary Artery Disease described by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  These include cigarette smoking, family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, impaired fasting glucose, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.  ACSM also provides a risk stratification to determine if you fall within a Low, Moderate or High Risk category.  If you are Low Risk, you are ready to get started with your exercise regimen.  However, if you are either Moderate Risk or High Risk, I strongly recommend you receive a full physical examination from your physician prior to beginning an exercise program.  This is particularly important if you plan on doing high intensity exercise.  Your physician may have specific guidelines for exercises you can and cannot perform, and he or she may want to facilitate an exercise test (e.g., stress test) before clearing you to begin your program: 

Low Risk – Men who are under 45 years of age AND have no more than 1 of the seven risk factors.  Women who are under 55 years of age AND have no more than 1 of the seven risk factors.

Moderate Risk – Men who are 45 years of age or older.  Women who are 55 years of age or older.  Those with two or more positive risk factors.

High Risk – Anyone with an existing disease or symptoms of disease (e.g., diabetes, asthma, renal or liver disease, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, cystic fibrosis, angina, heart murmur, dizziness, shortness of breath). 

NEXT POST – September 1, 2008:

Sticking with Your Exercise Program


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