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Stress Management for Health Course

Cautions/Contraindications - Exercise


"I don't think there is a single thing in life as therapeutic as the right kind of an exercise programme applied over time.  But misapplied it can be just another stressor." (John Hibbs, Naturopath)


It is best to be cautious when dealing with stress, so do not diagnose yourself as suffering from stress but see your physician to get an accurate diagnosis because there are some medical conditions whose symptoms are similar to those of stress and if this is so the medical conditions need treating.

In order to gain the maximum benefits from exercise and to avoid any potential exercise related injuries, it is important to take into account the following considerations:-


1.   Before starting an exercise programme always visit your doctor for a check-up to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise.


2.   Do not exercise if you have a cold, flu or another infection.


3.   Do not exercise near main roads or in isolated areas.


4.   Do not wear a Walkman.


5.   Do not over exercise, over exercise can cause health problems.


6.   Always warm-up and cool down before and after exercise.


7.   Only exercise till you are slightly out of breath but can still hold a conversation or are mildly perspiring.


8.    Asthmatics should take their inhalers with them.


9.    Diabetics should take a glucose boosting food with them.


10. Do not exercise immediately after surgery.


11. If you feel pain, discomfort, or breathlessness, stop immediately.


12. Do not practice competitive sports if you suffer stress because competitive sports can increase stress rather than decrease it.


13. Do not use exercise on its own, you may need to combine it with other.


14. People with bone disease like arthritis would be wise to see their doctor first.


15. If you have circulatory disease, stroke, heart disease, heart attack see your doctor before exercising.



Research has shown that sensible exercise during pregnancy provides a number of physiological and psychological benefits such as, an easier labour. In one study researchers studied two groups of pregnant women, one group exercised during their pregnancy and the other group did not exercise acting as the control group.  After both groups gave birth the researchers reviewed the data which revealed a 50% lower level of Post Natal Depression in the group that had exercised compared to the control group who did not exercise.



Some caution has to be taken with people who have asthma.  Having said this many top athletes in various sports have asthma.  Exercise isnt a cure for asthma, but some asthmatics find they have less asthma attacks if they exercise.  Despite this, exercise can sometimes trigger asthma (exercise induced asthma), so it is wise to consult your doctor for advice on exercise if you are asthmatic. 



Research has shown that exercise is a useful tool in diabetes management, it is very valuable in helping to stabilise the blood sugar levels.  However diabetics need to take special precautions when exercising, they should take some glucose boosting food with them and particular care needs to be taken over the feet, ensuring that the footwear fits properly and so does not cause trauma to the feet.  Diabetics need to take extra advice to avoid foot blisters and injury.


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