Not enough can be said, especially as the United States continues to fight the obesity epidemic: The benefits of regular exercise, including aerobic and strength training, have long been established to help prevent obesity. chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. In addition, more and more studies show that regular exercise and weight control can help prevent many cancers.
But starting a regular exercise program can be a challenge for many. Primary care physicians are the first line of care when it comes to referring patients through an exercise program, making sure all major health problems are under control.
Jason Perry, MD, a sports medicine physician at Baptist Health Orthopedic Care, is in a unique position with experience that applies to physically active people. However, he emphasizes that many of his patients are not active and need to be guided and motivated to start routine exercises.
“You might think that because I’m part of the practice of orthopedics or sports medicine, everyone is an athlete,” says Dr. Perry. “But most of the patients we see are probably on a less active scale, or maybe they’re trying to start doing something and haven’t been for a while – and they’re having a disorder or a problem.”
Between 50 and 60 percent of Dr. Perry’s patients have chronic joint problems, such as arthritis, and most are inactive.
“Much of the treatment is a discussion of how to reduce your pain with regular exercise,” explains Dr. Perry. “There I often use physiotherapy as a way to show patients that they can include it in their regular busy lives. And they just have to give priority and take the time to do it. I think that’s a good way to get started. “
Below is more from Dr. Perry about the importance of exercise. The questions and answers are excerpts from his point of view during a recent LIVE broadcast on Facebook entitled: Talk about your health: #MensHealthMonth. However, Dr. Perry’s advice on exercise applies to both men and women.
I ask: What are some of the physical and mental benefits of exercise?
Dr. Perry: Exercise has been shown to be very beneficial for mental health and reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Regular exercise can help improve our sleep, improve our balance, prevent falls and fractures by improving bone density. And it has been shown to maintain brain and memory health. There are many advantages. One I often see is the reduction of joint pain in patients with arthritis. As health professionals, we know that we cannot force our patients to be active and that we cannot make everyone the way we want them to be. But regularly, at each visit, we must assess the levels of physical activity of our patients, to assess their desire to be active, if they are not already. And from there, we need to help our patients set some goals, and those goals need to be realistic, and then give them real ways to achieve those goals. “
I ask: What are the warning signs that the patient should be checked for injury before starting a routine workout?
Dr. Perry: “There are definitely things that people need to talk to their primary care physician or cardiologist before starting a training program. Of course, people who have not trained for a long time or have some kind of chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness at rest or with mild levels of activity should be evaluated by a doctor before participating in a program. Those with a history of heart disease or arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) or kidney disease should talk to their primary care providers or specialists for guidance on what they can and cannot do. “
I ask: What about patients who start training and get injured? What can patients do to avoid injury?
Dr. Perry: “Obviously, being an active person carries risks: injuries and joint problems. And I always tell my patients that the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks. And if we encounter a problem, we can solve it. You certainly have joint pain from carrying weight, lameness or swelling of the joint – these would be things we would encourage people to come and see us before continuing the assessment exercises, instead of waiting and trying to overcome the pain. . It is very individualized when it comes to these programs and what one should or should not do. This has a lot to do with the problems they have at their starting point. And it is difficult to make a common statement for all. They should discuss this with their supplier. And here comes the prescriptions for exercise: talking to patients about what they can do and what they may need to avoid. “
Dr. Perry adds that people should talk to their doctor before starting a training program if any of the following apply:
- You have heart disease.
- You have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- You have kidney disease.
- You have arthritis.
- You are undergoing cancer treatment or have recently completed cancer treatment.
- You have high blood pressure.
If you have not exercised regularly for some time, you can start training at a mild or moderate level without consulting your doctor and gradually increase your activity, according to Dr. Perry.
You should also see your doctor if you have symptoms that may be related to your heart, lungs or other conditions, such as:
- Pain or discomfort in the chest, neck, jaw or arms at rest or during physical activity.
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting on exercise or exertion.
- Difficulty breathing with light exertion, at rest or lying down or lying down.
- Swelling of the ankles, especially at night.
- Fast or pronounced heart rhythm.
- Heart murmur that your doctor has previously diagnosed.
- Pain in the lower leg when walking, which passes with rest.