Before You Start: Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire

Before you begin any exercise program, take time to answer a few short questions to determine if your body is up to the task.

The Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) is the gold standard in fitness safety, used by doctors, trainers and health clubs world-wide. The following questions can help rule out any underlying health concerns that could worsen with exercise.

  • Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor?
  • Do you feel pain in your chest when you engage in physical activity?
  • In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity?
  • Do you lose your balance because of dizziness, or do you ever lose consciousness?
  • Do you have a bone or joint problem (in your back, knee, or hip, for example) that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?
  • Is your doctor currently prescribing medication for your blood pressure or heart condition?
  • Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity?

If you answered, “Yes,” to any of the questions on this list, you must check in with your doctor and get cleared for exercise before you start any exercise program.

You should also talk about beginning an exercise program with your doctor if you:

  • Have any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or arthritis
  • Have any risk factors like smoking or being more than 20 pounds overweight

Exercise is often an important part of treatment for conditions such as these, but you may have some limitations or special needs that your doctor can tell you about.

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