Planning on starting
a new exercise program this summer? Consult
with your doctor beforehand, urge experts at
the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
"Exercise actually can bring out minor
medical issues and cause increased problems,
which are sometimes irreversible. As an analogy,
you wouldn't enter into a
NASCAR race without having your car inspected
first," Dr. Michael J. Sampson, team doctor
for Virginia Tech and chair of the department
of family medicine at the Edward Via Virginia
College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg,
said in a prepared statement.
"From an osteopathic standpoint, form
and function are interrelated. Therefore, the
better the human body is working biomechanically
and physically, the better the performance and
benefits the patient receives," he said.
Age, weight, body mass index (BMI), heart and
lung function, cholesterol level, joint stability,
and the risk for heart disease, fractures and
osteoporosis are among the factors a doctor
takes into consideration when assessing or creating
a patient's exercise plan.
Sampson recommended you have the following
information when you discuss a new exercise
program with your doctor:
- Goals for the exercise program.
- Any known health problems.
- Medication, herbal and supplemental use.
- Family history of any health problems such
as heart disease, diabetes or osteoporosis.
- Bone or joint problems.
- Your history of smoking and alcohol use.
"A 15-minute visit to your physician could
potentially save your life -- or, at the very
least, prevent future injuries from occurring,"