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Having a regular exercise program is a very important component of a healthy weight loss. Some people even believe that having physical activity is as effective as any healthy weight loss diet. It can burn increased blood sugar within circulation and help metabolize stored fats within your adipose tissues. Exercise can help you reap so many healthful benefits. Furthermore, the results of healthy exercise and weight loss can ultimately lead to healthier social life because of decreased depression tendencies and physical insecurities.

However, despite all the benefits of a healthy weight loss, every overweight and obese patient should always keep in mind that pre-exercise evaluation and preparation is as important as the physical activity itself. Setting up the stage for a regular exercise program is essential to ensure your safety.

Who are those people who need to undergo pre-exercise evaluation?

Diabetic patients

Patients who are having problems with their blood sugar level should take pre-exercise evaluation before staring any physical activity for losing weight. Do you want to know why?

During the active exercise, your entire system consumes 20 times more oxygen compared to the amount of oxygen you usually use during the state of rest, says the American Diabetes Association. Thus, in order to meet this body energy demand, use fiber of active skeletal muscle uses its own stored sugar and fats. The liver also provides some of these energy sources in the form of fatty acids and blood sugar to meet the need of the actively contracting skeletal muscle. Any sudden drop in the blood sugar level can be detrimental to almost all the organ systems within the body, including the central nervous system particularly the brain. Thus, in order to preserve brain functions during active and intense exercise activity, the body should its blood sugar level stable.

Sudden decrease in blood sugar level rarely happens in normal patients because the body can do some self-adjustments in times of active exercise. During intense physical activity, insulin level decreases. On the other hand, glucagon, the hormone responsible for driving stored glucose stored from the liver and skeletal muscles to the bloodstream. However, in patients with type 1 diabetes and in patients with uncontrolled blood sugar level, this important blood glucose balance is lost. In patients using fixed-dosed insulin injections, severe hypoglycemia may result. Thus, In order to prevent any blood sugar issues from happening, every diabetic patient should undergo pre-exercise evaluations.

Patients who are more than 35 years of age

Patients who belong to the age range of 35 years old and above are mandatory to have a pre-exercise evaluation before starting any program for physical fitness. Why? The more your age advances, the higher your risk for developing lifestyle-related health problems such as cardiac diseases, hypertension, and diabetes.

Patients with known risk for cardiovascular diseases

Patients with known heart problems such as coronary artery disease should consider undergoing cardiac evaluation before initiating an exercise program. Patients with other co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and those belonging to the age range of 40 years and above have more reasons to have cardiac testing before adapting any exercise routine to ensure their safety. Other risk factors that can increase the incidence of cardiovascular diseases include high blood cholesterol level, hypertension, smoking and microvascular problems such as nephropathy, the state of kidney damage, and proliferative retinopathy, a non-inflammatory damage of the retina, the nerve tissue within the eye that makes vision possible.

Elderly patients

The American Diabetes Association explains that elderly patients can greatly benefit from having a regular physical activity. Exercise can prevent the natural aging process that results in decreased muscle mass and muscle strength. Decreased physical activity in the aged can decrease insulin resistance that can ultimately lead to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, despite these benefits, aged patients should have a thorough screening first before having any forms of physical activity to know the status of their blood sugar level and cardiovascular function and to eliminate other risk factors that may result to morbidity.

My doctor already gave a “thumbs-up” for my weight loss exercise program. Are there other preparations I need to consider?

Check your blood sugar first

Patients who have diabetes should check their blood sugar level before starting any exercise activity. A blood sugar level of 250mg/dl and above should postpone their exercise plans until their blood sugar level becomes lower than this cut-off range. Patients who receive insulin injections or those who are using oral hypoglycemic agents to control their blood sugar level should consider eating a meal first before exercising to prevent sudden drop in their blood sugar level during active workouts.

Use a comfortable pair of shoes

Patients who are at risk for foot injuries, particularly those who are having problems with their blood sugar level and those with peripheral arterial disease should consider buying a comfortable pair of shoes before starting any exercise program. This way, foot injuries can be prevented.


Having regular physical activity should always be a part of a healthy weight loss program. It is one of the healthiest ways of eliminating your excess weight and fats. However, you should always keep in mind that safety is one of the most important aspects of a successful weight reduction. Thus, pre-exercise evaluation should always be considered before starting any forms of physical activity.


Diabetes Care; Diabetes Mellitus and Exercise; American Diabetes Association; January 2002

John Hopkins Point-of-care Information Technology: Physical Activity and Exercise

Category : Weight Loss Guides

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