screening for exercise
any of the following apply to you, see your doctor for a check
up before beginning exercise. :
40+, sedentary, overweight, high blood pressure, diabetes,
previous heart attack, current heart condition, chest pain
at any time (exercising or not exercising), dizziness, loss
you are sedentary and engage in vigorous physical activity,
you may cause a heart attack. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
and coronary artery disease are often referred to as the "silent
killers" because often the first sign of disease is a
heart attack. Plaques building in your arteries typically
have no symptoms you can feel. If you have these plaques and
you engage in vigorous physical activity you could dislodge
some of this plaque and cause an arterial blockage. It's a
real threat that should not be taken lightly.
the PAR Q test prior to beginning an exercise program click
here for a copy of the PAR Q test.
tests for exercise pre screening
physician may order a standard stress test to investigate
heart function before giving permission to exercise. Standard
stress tests are done on a treadmill or stationary bike. Small
electrodes are attached to your body. These electrodes measure
electrical signals in your heart and can be used to diagnose
certain heart conditions. The tests start at an easy pace
and gets harder every 3 minutes (or other increment) until
you reach between 85% and 90% of your maximum heart rate,
or whenever you decide you don't want to continue for whatever
reason. The tester may also stop the test at any time. The
tests are typically 5 to 12 minutes in duration.
you are not a candidate for an exercise stress test due to
intolerance to exercise for any reason or other medical reasons,
your physician may order a test where a drug is injected that
causes similar stresses on your heart that occur during exercise.
Special imaging tools are used to look at your hearts response
to the drug. You remain motionless during the test, although
there is a test that combines mild exercise and drugs.
assessments have a different purpose than stress tests. Stress
tests are a medical procedure. Stress test results help a
physician rule out potential heart problems before giving
the go ahead for exercise.
assessments can be done with no specific medical purpose.
Coaches and trainers who are properly trained can administer
fitness assessments but cannot administer stress tests. A
fitness test is not a replacement for a stress test.
assessments can be done in exercise labs with special machines
to measure oxygen consumption (VO2 Max), blood lactate, and
heart rate measurements to help a coach/ trainer prescribe
the correct exercise intensity for an individual, but the
coach/ trainer is not qualified to make any medical interpretations
from the assessment. Miniature portable lactate analyzers
and heart rate monitors can be used to bring lab accuracy
to any location indoors and outdoors.
are two fitness assessment models
individual tests are far superior to population average based
assessments. Direct testing collects specific information
from the individual and a personal exercise prescription can
made from the results. Population average tests compare your
results to average chart references and no specific exercise
prescription can be made from test results, although you can
compare your results to others in your demographic group.
"fitness assessment" that specifically compares
you to a group average and does not determine your current
fitness level cannot be used to prescribe specific exercise
intensities or duration's with any reliable accuracy as the
results assume you are the same as the population average
your results are closest to. These are cookie cutter routines,
they are not individualized.
Fitness does individualized assessments using heart rate and
for trainers and coaches who are experienced in lactate testing
and heart rate profiling in fitness assessments, avoid cookie
cutter population average testing.
2007 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness www.rhinofitness.ca