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Before Working Out, Get A Check-Up

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends an average 60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity for people between 5 and 17 years of age in order to improve cardiorespiratory performance, muscle development, and bone health. For those over 18, the weekly recommended average is 150 minutes of moderate physical activity.

Freddy A. Sandoval González
2016-08-09

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What are the benefits of following these guidelines?: achieving a healthy physical composition, keeping a healthy weight, having good cardiorespiratory function, minimising the risk of hip/vertebra fractures, and maintaining an adequate blood pressure level. Moreover, physical exercise significantly reduces the risk of mortality by cardiac disease, stroke, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon or breast cancer and depression.

The study Medical Assistance of the Physical Training, by the Physical Education and Sports Faculty at the University of Craiova (Romania) emphasises the importance of medical assistance in the evaluation of the body’s development and function and in the determination of the level of physical effort a person is capable of exerting. Likewise, it stresses the importance of medical orientation for training, rehabilitation and recovery processes. It also points out that there are well established international protocols for medical assistance in physical training, but that great effort is required to popularise the steps and criteria essential to the application of medical assistance.

In fact the research published in Preseason Physical Examination for the Prevention of Sports Injuries, of the Sports Medicine journal, highlights the importance of undergoing a comprehensive medical examination for people wishing to begin practising any sporting activity, and for athletes before beginning the regular competition season, since this is the only opportunity for preventing sports injuries. The test should contain medical indicators, percentages of fat and muscle, cardiovascular values and a psychological evaluation. It should provide clear goals and a training program focused on the individual’s personal motivation and objectives.

WHAT’S THE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION LIKE?
In Quito, for instance, there is a sports and training facility, Centro de Desarrollo Deportivo y Entrenamiento, which has perfected a physical examination called examen deportológico [Sports Examination], beginning with a full laboratory report aimed at ruling out the presence of ailments and identifying metabolic behaviours. Afterwards the subject undergoes an evaluation to determine his basal caloric expenditure at rest, i.e. resting energy consumption, and a densitometric analysis of body composition to gauge muscle and fat percentage. Next, an electrocardiogram is performed to measure cardiac performance and an elasticity test to determine the level of mobility and elasticity of the articulations. There is a spirometry test to evaluate lung function, and a strength test to identify which muscles are at work when exercising. Finally a cardiac stress test is applied to identify maximum aerobic capacity and the volume of oxygen consumed, cardiac training areas, the Lactate Performance Curve (LPC) or the maximum bodily fatigue point, and metabolic equivalents that define energy demands on the body.

A MEDICAL EXAMINATION IS A STEP TOWARDS SUCCESS
Undergoing a medical examination before starting an exercise program has been proven to be effective in avoiding injuries and structuring sports development in a functional way. Internationally renowned athletes like Karl Egloff –holder of three world records in speed climbing; Olympic athlete Angela Tenorio; and mountain climber Santiago Quinteros, have made medical sports physicals an indispensable component of their preparation cycle. This has enabled them to achieve their goals in a practical and satisfactory manner.

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