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To adapt recommendations and personalise exercise routines, the needs of each person must be known and specific studies into doing exercise should be carried out for the individual. In this sense, sports medicine specialists are professionals who offer specific, personal recommendations based on a variety of medical consultations and diagnostic tests.
Anyone who would like to ask about their health and doing physical activity should undergo a medical check-up to ensure their safety when exercising and to identify any possible issues (organic or musculoskeletal) that could make doing physical exercise a risk.
There are different options depending on the characteristics of each person.
The information obtained with these analyses is when the individual is at rest, that is, these tests are not performed while they are making physical efforts to directly assess their response to a physical load. This type of examination is usually requested by certain federations and by people who need aptitude certificates for sports tests.
To increase sensitivity and obtain more specific information, adding other complementary tests such as a cardiac stress test (ergometry) to the medical examination is recommended. In this case, the person undergoes a stress test (by cycling or running) during which they are monitored and their cardiovascular response to a specific effort is measured; a ventilatory response can also be added to the test through a gas exchange assessment.
These evaluations are not only useful for athletes who want to understand and improve their performance, but for people who have an illness and who specifically want to obtain recommendations on what physical activity to do and how they can do it to obtain the best benefits for their health.
The purpose of a medical exam is:
Identify the processes that impede or limit sports performance or participation.
Diagnose an undetected disease or one that is susceptible to treatment.
Establish a therapy or plan for the rehabilitation of specific processes.
Prevent injuries by identifying and treating musculoskeletal disorders.
Guide the individual on what activities they can or should do with the aim of improving their performance and preserving their health.
Amateur athletes who regularly exercise should carry out a medical examination at least once every season, and elite athletes, whenever the situation requires it.