Prevent injury with a physical Prevent injury with a physical

Prevent injury with a physical

Prevention 8 December, 2016 Ana María López de Mesa

Getting a physical before beginning a physical activity is key to taking care of your health.

Medical Advisor Winston Tobón Ochoa Doctor of Sports Medicine, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare.

Exercise can have many benefits, but only if it is done properly. A physical exam should be done prior to any physical activity. This allows the individual that wishes to exercise or participate in a sport to be safe and healthy.

In order for someone’s physical conditions to be evaluated prior to engaging in a particular exercise, the person should receive a physical exam that specifies their capacities, resistance and strength.

This screening determines each person’s limitations, which are measured according to the intake of oxygen when exercising. For example, it evaluates how many series and repetitions can a person withstand before their health and physical integrity is compromised. “This tool reduces the chances of having a heart attack while exercising. It also serves as a way to diagnose conditions that may be affected by your exercise routine,” explains Winston Tobón Ochoa, Doctor of Sports Medicine.

Prior to testing someone’s physical capacities, their medical history, including previous injuries and eating habits, is reviewed. After this information is clear, physical conditions are assessed through a general developmental analysis. The musculoskeletal system is also reviewed as well as strength level and flexibility.

This physical exam is very useful for knowing how to practice sports in a healthy way, while taking the unique characteristics of each individual into consideration. This analysis can help develop an exercise plan the fits different needs.
Everyone should take this exam prior to beginning a new physical activity. It is more pertinent for men and women over the age of 55 to take the exam, however, as heart risk and potential damage to the muscles increase after this age.

“Beginning to play sports without knowing your limits can lead to serious consequences such as a variety of injuries and a loss in your respiratory capacities. Physical exams can help avoid these types of problems,” Tobón states.
This type of screening should be conducted routinely as the body is in constant transformation and its conditions continuously change. The exam ensures that individuals are truly prepared to exercise without problem. It also allows them to identify weak points or limitations, which can improve through the physical activity itself by giving your best and fighting to get the best results.

As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe, than sorry.” Physical exams provide information on the body’s condition. It is a sort of guidebook for the precautions to take during exercise. It is a roadmap to understanding the resources you have to work with and what you need to work more on.

The objective of this tool is to protect the health of individuals and for the sport to be an agent of positive change for all who participate in it.

Why play sports?

Before choosing an exercise routine, it is important to determine the goal of engaging in the activity. For example, are you exercising solely for health purposes? Or do you want to lose weight until you reach your goal?

Keep in mind that an exercise routine can be repeated in the exact same way by two people, but its results will vary depending on the individual. “It is a good idea for people to reach out to specialists that can help them set specific goals based on their individual needs,” shares fitness trainer, Sergio Delbasto.

To lose weight, physical activity should be based on cardiovascular exercise together with a meal plan that helps you to eliminate toxins and foods that are not beneficial to your health.

If your target is to be healthy and work towards achieving an athletic figure, your exercise routine should be more complex and should include both cardiovascular and muscle workouts. Diet also plays a critical role in this case and your daily routine should be based on healthy practices such as sleeping well, having good posture, etc.

100% is the percentage by which the risk for having a heart attack increases among weekend athletes.


  1.  Lifting too much weight or exercising for too long is one of the most common causes of sports injuries. They are also frequent when a workout routine is not correctly established, which is why it is important to have the guidance of a certified trainer.
  2. Whether due to a lack of time or lack of experience, some people begin their workouts without warming up beforehand. Spending time warming up the muscles, especially those that will be used during your routine, minimizes the risk of injury.
  3. If you do injure yourself, stop your workout immediately. Continuing to exercise could cause further damage. Even if the discomfort or pain is minor, the best choice is to reduce any inflammation. It is best to rest and apply heat and cold therapy.
  4. A plan for proper nutrition that suits the exercise you are doing will maximize your results. Refrain from eating right before a workout and do not fill up on food afterwards; instead of achieving the results you want, this causes muscle fatigue as well as overall fatigue.