Sports medical examination: get a physical examination
Just as how a car should get an MOT every year, it’s important to check your body before putting serious strain on it. This can be done by undergoing a sports examination. This type of examination brings your health and load capacity into focus. This advice applies not only to elite athletes, but also to novice athletes and patients with chronic illnesses. There are also additional options to already gain some insight into your health yourself.
Why undergo a sports medical examination as a runner?
The purpose of this examination is to achieve safe and responsible sports practice. You will also gain insight into your condition and receive appropriate, targeted training advice. The term ‘sports physical’ is only still used in a number of sports for which undergoing a sports medical examination is mandatory. Not everyone needs an examination before exercising. In some cases, however, it may be wise to do so. A sports medical examination is definitely recommended for athletes if:
- you have a condition or disease or if cardiovascular disease runs in the family;
- you experience symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations or chest pain during exercise;
- you experience unusual fatigue;
- you recover poorly after exercise;
- you experience a decrease in performance ability without a training decrease;
- you have never participated intensively in sports in the past;
- you want to know what your lactate turn point is to calculate your training zones;
- you want to start exercising;
Even if you have a slight ache or minor injury, it may be wise to have this looked at before it develops into a chronic injury. Of course, you may also just be curious about how you’re doing and want to exercise in the most well-informed way possible.
To get a complete picture of your fitness and load capacity, an exercise test is part of the examination in larger sports medical examinations. Exercise tests can also be administered as a separate examination. Based on the results, the sports doctor can provide tailored advice to both recreational and performance-driven athletes. The examination is particularly suitable for endurance athletes. Even if you experience complaints during exercise, this examination can provide valuable insights. Finally, in the case of a chronic illness, the exercise test offers a good picture of the physical condition and load capacity and, based on the results, the sports doctor can advise on the best way to exercise and which training program may be appropriate.
The exercise test takes place on a bicycle or treadmill. A number of electrodes are taped to the athlete’s chest and back for the cardiac ultrasound (ECG). During a breath gas analysis, a mouth mask is also placed over the athlete’s nose and mouth. During the maximum effort test, the load (wattage on the bike and speed/height on the treadmill) is increased more and more and the goal is to exert oneself as intensively as possible. Depending on the desired purpose of the test, a specific protocol can be chosen that varies in step size of the blocks, duration of the blocks and so on. The cardiac ultrasound and respiratory gas analysis then provide an excellent picture of the functioning of the heart and lungs. Using various analysis methods, the sports physician can accurately determine the anaerobic threshold (lactate turn point), maximum oxygen capacity, resting heart rate and maximum heart rate. In this way, training zones can be created, which form the basis for a training schedule.
Are you interested in a sports medical examination, exercise test or stress test? If so, look for the nearest address on the Sportzorg website.