Dubai, UAE Having a chronic disease or cancer can not only be disabilitating, but also have a major impact on your general fitness level and well-being. Dr Stephan Praet Sports Medicine Consultant at UPANDRUNNING explains what can be done.
A recent meta-analysis of different studies on cancer rehabilitation shows that well-structured exercise interventions, especially when supervised, have a statistically significant and small clinical benefit on self-reported quality of life and physical function in patients with cancer.
However, also other patients with chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, heart failure, COPD and type 2 diabetes may benefit from structured exercise intervention. Multiple high-quality studies, such as the LookAHEAD study in the USA, have shown that comprehensive lifestyle interventions that include exercise and dietary changes have modest but significant long-term benefits on physical function and glycemic control in overweight and obese middle-aged and older adults with type 2 diabetes.
Key to the success of these programs is that both intensity and volume of the prescribed exercise is tailored to the individual fitness levels. Dr Stephan Praet Sports Medicine Consultant at UPANDRUNNING offers physician-supervised clinical guidance for effective and safe doses of exercise that will assist in maintaining or regaining your physical fitness and quality of life through a more active lifestyle.
Before beginning your exercise program
If you are over 35 years old, a current or previous smoker or overweight, but considering to start getting active or training for a sports event that may push your borders? In that case or if you are unsure about your fitness level, it may be wise to undergo a physical examination and exercise stress test first. Based on your physical load capacity, heart rate, ECG and blood pressure response, we will advise you on your individual heart rate training zones and provide you with more specific training advice.
If indicated, you can also be referred for additional blood tests, a CT-angiogram of your coronary arteries and/ or a follow-up appointment with a cardiologist for advice and possibly an echocardiogram.
If your cardiovascular risk exceeds 10%, if you have unexplained loss of fitness or have noticed that it takes longer to recover from intense exercise, it may be particularly useful to undergo a symptom-limited exercise ECG stress test with dynamic blood pressure monitoring. If you have any concerns or questions- book in an appointment with Dr Stephan below->
Treatment Recurrent injuries
Recurrent injuries and illnesses often result in lost training time and have been shown to impair performance in competitive and high-performance athletes. If you have difficulty progressing in your sport due to recurrent medical conditions, you may benefit from a comprehensive medical screening by a Sports medicine Doctor. Besides a thorough physical examination and certain blood tests (e.g testosterone/cortisol ratio), we will also address potential causes such as low energy availability and certain mental health issues.
A recent study performed at the Australian Institute of Sport amongst Australian Olympic athletes indicates that a relatively low energy availability (RED-S), depression symptoms and higher perceived stress are all associated with sports incapacity (time loss) due to illness.
Based on a thorough assessment that needs sometimes be extended with cardiopulmonary exercise testing, a Sports Medicine Doctor can exclude common training errors as well as medical, endocrinological, metabolic or nutritional causes for so-called non-functional overreaching (NFOR).
Here more from Dr Stephan Praet as he discusses musculoskeletal injuries –