For most people, Couch to 5K is perfectly safe, and brings lots of health benefits. A small number, though have pre-existing medical conditions that might make this type of exercise difficult or unwise.
We’d hate to have you register for our programme only for you to drop out in the first week or two because it’s too hard for you or gives you pains or other complications.
The most important test is whether you can walk for 20-30 minutes without experiencing undue pain or dizziness. A slight ache afterwards is fine. Being out of breath is also OK. But if you feel real pain then sorry, but we can’t accept you onto the programme.
If you passed the first test, here are some of the conditions that we have encountered. It is not a complete list of conditions that can affect your participation. Please remember that this list is only based on our past experience of providing our programme, and our view of whether it has, in the past, affected a member’s ability to participate.
None of the team are medically qualified and we cannot comment on individual cases. The table is provided only as a guide. Everyone is different - a mild case of something might be OK where a severe case might not. You know more about your condition than we do, and you know better than us exactly where on the scale you are. If you have any doubt about whether you should register for a Couch to 5K programme, consult your medical advisor.
Stable Angina (refer to the blue panel)
Painful Ankles or Feet (refer to the blue panel)
Arthritis (refer to the blue panel)
Back Pain (refer to the blue panel)
High Blood Pressure
Low Blood Pressure
Chest Pain (refer to the blue panel)
Diabetes - Type 1 or Type 2
Fibromyalgia (refer to the blue panel)
Heart Disease (refer to the blue panel)
Heart Surgery - recent
Hypermobllity (refer to the blue panel)
Knee Pain (refer to the blue panel)
Overweight - no difficulty walking for 20-30 minutes
Very Overweight - difficulty walking for 20-30 minutes
Pregnancy - current
Pregnancy - recent
You should be OK to participate, but if you have any doubt, check with your medical adviser.
You might be OK to participate but you should check with your medical adviser.
Sorry, but we cannot accept you onto the programme unless your health improves.
Get more information from the NHS web page for this condition.
Remember - The most important test is whether you can walk for 20-30 minutes without experiencing undue pain or dizziness. A slight ache afterwards is fine. Being out of breath is also OK. But if you feel real pain then sorry, but we can’t accept you onto the programme.
If you’re sure that jogging isn’t for you, then don’t give up on the basic idea of doing some exercise. Doing any type of exercise is more important than the type of exercise. There are lots of other things to try – swimming and cycling give most of the benefits of running, and your local leisure centre probably offers many other alternatives.