Before Running – Getting Medical Clearance

Photo by: Helge V. Keitel

The phrase “medical clearance” is usually something that you hear referring to professional athletes who were injured and are well enough to get back to playing their sport.

Unfortunately, we don’t hear “medical clearance” for us normal folks too often, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as important!

There are quite a few reasons why an individual who wants to start running may need to go

see their doctor first for medical clearance, but some of the more common reasons include:

  • You are exceeding mileage and/or running intensity that you have not done so in the past
  • You are of an older age and have not really ran in the past (or at least in the recent past)
  • You have heart trouble or family history of heart problems
  • You are pregnant
  • You are overweight or have been leading a sedentary lifestyle for over a year
  • Some other type of medical issue that may get worse through exerting your body

Obviously this list is not totally complete, but you can see that a lot more individuals fit into the “I need to see my doctor before running” bucket then you might have imagined.

Once at the doctor’s for a physical check prior to the start of your running, make sure to share your goals on what you hope to achieve while running which could include:

  • losing weight
  • getting fit / staying fit
  • running a particular race (marathon, 5k, 10k, triathlon, etc)
  • or even just to relieve some stress!

By providing this information the doctor will be able to look more closely at what your body can handle and recommend ways to ensure your overall health while you achieve your goals (and to help prevent injury).

Don’t be a fool and make sure you are cleared medically to run your little heart out.

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