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Sports Physicals: Not Just For Kids

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Sports physicals are often seen as being just for kids. Perhaps this is because such physicals are required before kids participate in school sports. Understandably, it is important for kids to have sports physicals. However, adults can benefit from sports physicals, too. Here is a closer look at when, how, and why adults may benefit from sports physicals.

When should adults have sports physicals?

Generally speaking, it is a good idea for an adult to have a sports physical any time they plan on boosting their physical activity in the near future. Here are some instances in which you may benefit from a sports physical.

  • You are about to start going to the gym.
  • You're going to join a recreational sports league.
  • You're training for a marathon or other running event.
  • You're going on a physically exerting vacation.
  • You're taking on a more active job.

Why should adults have sports physicals?

It's important for you to have sports physicals to ensure there are no underlying health conditions that might make it unsafe for you to be more active, or that might cause you to be more prone to illness or injuries if you do increase your activity level.

Sports physicals are also a great opportunity to get some personalized advice from your doctor in regard to being active. For example, they may tell you that you're a little overweight, so you should try to avoid higher-impact activities that are hard on your joints until you're able to drop a few pounds. Alternatively, they may find that your blood pressure is a little high, so being more active might actually be a good way to get it down.

What happens during a sports physical?

Sports physicals tend to be pretty straightforward. Your doctor will assess your vital signs and make sure your pulse, temperature, and respiration rate are within a healthy range. They'll weigh you and use your weight to inform any recommendations they make regarding physical activity.

Your doctor will probably also test your flexibility somewhat, making sure your joints are relatively healthy and free from arthritis, and checking your overall muscle development.

Keep in mind, your doctor won't just be giving you a "yes" or "no" on your sports participation. They'll be giving you more precise advice as to which sports you should and should not take on, what injuries you may be most prone to, and how to best keep yourself healthy in the particular sports you prefer.

Sports physicals are not just for kids. Adults who want to be more active can get a lot out of these sessions, too. For more information, contact a sports physical service.