Most people start a fitness or nutrition program without consulting their doctor. Although making these lifestyle changes seems harmless, there are several reasons you should have a check-up before starting.

Your Weight Can Be An Issue

Being heavier can be a catch-22 when it comes to leading healthy lifestyle. You might need to lose weight to improve your health, but jumping into a program might do more harm than good. Speaking with your doctor about your plans and having a baseline screening will help you determine if you are healthy enough to begin a fitness journey and the best place to start. Your doctor may have concerns about markers for cardiovascular disease and would prefer if you started slowly or monitored your heart rate during exercise to ensure your heart rate does not reach dangerous levels. Some people who have several hundred pounds to lose might need to start by only reducing their caloric intake until they have lost enough weight to start walking safely.

Keep An Eye On Your Liver And Kidneys

Your liver and kidneys can be especially vulnerable to poor lifestyle choices and drastic changes in your weight or diet. It is important to have baseline tests performed to determine your liver and kidney function so you can compare them as you go throughout your fitness journey. People who have been significantly overweight for many years or lose large amounts of weight quickly may develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fortunately, when it is caught early, the problem is generally treatable. Another concern can be adopting a diet that is higher in protein and/or fat. If you have kidney problems, a high-protein diet may not be advisable. Additionally, some people have a predisposition to developing kidney or gallstones from increased protein and/or fat. Your doctor may advise against a lower carbohydrate diet or they might give you suggestions, such as eating certain vegetables or moderating your protein or fat intake, to avoid complications.

Talk About Supplements

There are many supplements you may choose to include during your fitness journey that may not be ideal based on your health or medications you take. For example, you might want to try thermogencis to help decrease body fat or improve your gym performance, but if you already have hypertension or other cardiovascular issues, this could be dangerous. Similarly, some supplements can exacerbate the anticoagulant effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or "blood thinners," increasing your risk of spontaneous bleeding events. Bring a list of different supplements you want to try, even vitamins and minerals, to your doctor. Your doctor can help you determine which ones are off-limits and if there are safer alternatives for your situation.

Consulting a doctor before starting any fitness journey seems unnecessary, but it is never wise to take a chance on your health. Having a check-up before you begin can help you develop the safest strategy to reach your fitness goals.