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First Time Getting A Sports Physical?: What You Can Expect

If you are just getting your very first sports physical or you are taking your children in for sports physicals, you may be wondering what makes a sports physical different from an annual physical. There are some minor differences. Yet, those differences may dictate whether or not you can participate in sports. Here is what you can expect when you or your kids schedule and receive a sports physical.

Resting Heart Rate and Active Heart Rate Tests

Usually, when anyone has an annual physical, the resting heart rate is part of the vitals taken before the doctor comes into the room. With a sports physical, both the resting and active heart rates are taken. The purpose for measuring and taking both the resting and active rates is two-fold. It first tells the doctor whether or not your pulmonary system (heart and lungs) are strong enough for the sport in which you want to participate and then provides a base line for your current level of fitness and maximum ability allowed. (If you push beyond your limits too much and/or too often, it may be too much for your body, and that is why these tests are part of the sports physical.)

Renal Output and/or Blood Glucose Levels

Exercise causes you to shed a lot of water through sweat and urination. Your kidneys have to be in good working order to handle any sport that will be especially physically demanding. Special tests for renal (kidney) output will tell your doctor if your kidneys can manage the amount of blood processed and filtered through the kidneys and the urine produced (which moves the blood toxins out through the urine). Additionally, people with undiagnosed and/or untreated diabetes could find themselves in an emergency situation. A simple blood glucose test during a sports physical can help determine if your pancreas is up to the challenge of playing sports. (Unless you are an older adult, these tests are not usually part of an annual physical.)

Joint Function Tests

Your joints play a big part in sports participation. While your children may easily pass these tests, you might be surprised by the results in your own tests. It is important to know your body's limitations, regardless of age. Knowing that your joints may not cooperate with certain moves in sports allows you to plan ahead and discuss with your coach (or your kids' coach) what some options are if you still want to participate in sports.

For more information, contact Meadowbrook Urgent Care or a similar location.