Exercise advertisements often target simplified exercise routines and spot reduction. Some exercise advertisements sell the belief that one machine will work your entire body and give you the results you need. Some machines are good for cardiovascular conditioning; however, they may not be good for other reasons, such as joint or balance limitations. To establish a proper exercise routine, you need to follow a few basic guidelines.

Find out what the recommended exercise guidelines are for your personal health condition

Before you start an exercise program or routine, a thorough medical history and evaluation are recommended so you and your doctor can identify limitations on certain exercise movements. It is highly recommended that you receive proper instructions for performing these exercises before beginning your exercise routine or program. Anaerobic exercise is not recommended for some people with certain heart or orthopedic conditions. Discuss this with your doctor.

When to call the doctor

If you have any of the following symptoms while exercising, stop the activity and rest. If the symptoms do not go away, call your doctor:

  • Heart palpitations (feeling of "skipped" heart beat or irregular heart beat)
  • Chest pain
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pressure or pain in your chest, neck, arm, jaw or shoulder
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained weight gain or swelling (Call your doctor right away)