Not so fast

by Neville Clarke

I’m sure you’ve heard it before – check with your doctor if you’re thinking of starting an exercise programme.

And it doesn’t have to be a strenuous one where you’ll be hitting those weights or aiming to burn several calories doing zumba on your way to losing five pounds by month end.

Having a general check-up by your doctor is exactly what family physician, Dr. Adrian Lorde, is advocating.

He told Loving Me there are a number of conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease that were asymptomatic that may be detected through an examination.

Lorde stressed that a doctor should be able to recommend to his patient the type of exercise he or she should or should not engage in, and how often.

He further stressed that a doctor’s examination was critical if the patient has been inactive for a long time or has a family history of one of the above mentioned ailments.

Exercise increases the release of endorphins in the brain and gives one a “natural high”, it promotes better sleeping patterns, leads to clearer thinking and makes you more relaxed, said the physician.

Walking, the doctor suggested, was a good way to start and you should aim for a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes, three to five days a week.

“It is better to walk early morning or late evening on a playing field, the recently constructed boardwalk, the Garrison Savannah or the [Wildey] Gymnasium,” Lorde said and added that you should have a partner.

The doctor said anyone about to participate in an exercise programme can eat high carbohydrates such as rice, breadfruit, potatoes or pasta to generate energy. However, greasy foods should be avoided prior to exercising because they slowed down the rate of emptying the stomach.

Additionally, you as a start you can eat a small amount of meat and vegetables.

Lorde pointed out that if an individual developed chest paints, faints or experiences dizziness while exercising, he/she should consult a doctor as those might be an indication that something is medically wrong.

Trained and certified instructors should be retained at all gyms and he argued that well trained and certified instructors would be able to advise members of gyms “when, how or what to do, and monitor the progress of members of the gym”.

While acknowledging that sports drinks were tastier Lorde pointed out that water was the best to use while exercising and suggested that you shouldn’t wait until you were thirsty to drink water.

Lorde suggested that everyone should make time to exercise because it assists in reducing the incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases and obesity which have become major problems in Barbados.

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