Sports physicals serve as a foundation to safety and health during physical activity. By getting periodic sports physicals – especially before beginning a new sport or fitness routine – you can verify that you are in good health and assess your overall fitness level. Sports physicals are also helpful for identifying underlying conditions that could serve as a predisposition to injury.
Did you know…
that sports physicals are recommended for people of all ages – not just kids and teens? Whether you are a professional athlete or simply looking to start a new fitness routine, you need to be cleared for physical activity by a medical professional. But even if you are approved for sports after your appointment, it is important to listen to your body for cues of exhaustion, overuse or dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after activity, and be sure to wear safety equipment at all times to avoid a health emergency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to get a sports physical before starting a new activity?
Yes. Even the healthiest of athletes need sports physicals before beginning new fitness routines or starting a new sport. Most U.S. states, schools and colleges require sports physicals for participation in sports from year to year. However, anyone of any age beginning strenuous activity of any kind should see a doctor first.
What should I expect during a sports physical?
Your sports physical will include an assessment of your height, weight, flexibility and musculoskeletal health. You’ll also undergo screenings to measure your eyesight and how it coordinates with other parts of your body, such as the hands and feet. Finally, you’ll undergo a cardiovascular evaluation that measures your blood pressure and heart rate. If any problems are detected, you’ll be notified and a recommendation for treatment will be made.
Will I need to follow any special instructions as a result of my sports physical?
Possibly. If your doctor discovers an underlying condition that could interfere with your ability to participate in sports or other activities, you may need to follow special recommendations to minimize your chances of injury or health complications.