Do I need a physical?
You may be entering the sport of triathlon like me, as a former couch potato, or you might be fairly active already. No matter your current ability you may find that triathlon training is a completely different ball game from your normal routine. So, before you buy any fancy gadgets or equipment, you should sit down with your doctor to decide if this triathlon training is appropriate for you at your current level of fitness. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) developed the following quiz to help you determine if you should have a physical before starting your triathlon training.
Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire
1. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor?
2. Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity?
3. In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity?
4. Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose consciousness?
5. Do you have a done or joint problem (for example, back, knee or hip) that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?
6. Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart condition?
7. Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, the ACSM suggests that see your doctor and get a physical before you start increasing your physical activity or before you have a fitness appraisal.
To see the complete information from the ACSM click here: https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/whentoseeadoctortemp.pdf&sa=U&ei=8zCBU_fLGovJoASirIHQDA&ved=0CAUQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNG9f4SYj9yCqlXBSjaDbvGc2YZ8HQ
If you have any doubts about your abilities to complete a triathlon training program or any other fitness program you should also see your doctor regardless of your answers to the above. No need to cut your triathlon journey short by taking unneeded risks and shortcuts that may cause permanent injury and lifelong regrets. There is no shortcut to the finish line when you are putting your health at risk.