Press-Republican

Health Advice

August 28, 2012

Exercise facilities must include proper screening

According to a position statement posted by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, one out of every four Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. 

In light of this trend, the U.S. surgeon general has been promoting physical activity. This can be seen with the huge growth of the fitness industry within the last 10 years. Many families now include exercise into their daily regimen. In short, this change is obviously a positive one. By promoting health and wellness, the United States is becoming more proactive as they aim to prevent these health issues in the first place or manage the condition long term rather than relying solely on medication to fix the problem.

Exercise, when done properly, is safe and effective at reducing disease. The American College of Sports Medicine states that those with cardiac disease, however, are up to 10 times more likely to have a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, when exercising. The organization also shows evidence that many fitness facilities do not regularly screen for such disorders before allowing membership to their facility. Screens that can quickly identify risk factors are a valuable and necessary tool for ensuring the safety of exercise participants. Without them, many at-risk individuals will be placed in a dangerous situation that could result in serious injury or death. With this in mind, is it very important that when you go to any athletic or wellness facility you check to make sure they are doing certain types of screening. Screens should not only check for cardiovascular disease, but also for metabolic and pulmonary disorders. There are three important steps to the screening process.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY READINESS

The PAR-Q, or Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire, is a quick and easy screen to identify any at-risk individuals. It usually consists of seven or eight questions and will easily show immediate concerns. 

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