My client, Rose, is overweight with a BMI of 36, has not been to a healthcare professional in 10 years, and has a family history of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With all these circumstances surrounding the case with Rose, I would suggest that she undergoes exercise testing. Through the tests, practitioners can assess her fitness level, as well as to check for any signs and symptoms of illness. Without exercise testing before a training program, there is an increased risk of injury and worsening any already existing symptoms of disease. It will benefit her to take caution to ensure she can exercise as safely as possible and avoid any potential injuries or other medical emergencies as a result of improper exercising.
As a non-physician, our role is to administer and monitor clinical exercise tests under the supervision and guidance of a physician. We are professionally trained and certified in exercise testing, with knowledge of exercise physiology and the appropriate use of testing equipment and procedures. Non-physicians document results from the patients exercise tests, including likelihood of cardiovascular disease among those with a high risk of the illness. The purpose of exercise testing is not to push your body to its limit, but to find a comfortable activity level. The exercise tests are designed to meet the individual needs of the client, based on their characteristics such as weight, height, age, sex, history of illness, and current fitness level.
There are some risks present during exercise testing as with anytime one engages in physical activity. Exercise puts a lot of pressure on your heart, so there is a slight risk of heart attack, irregular heartbeat, stroke, and death. While the chances are slim, unless there is already underlying symptoms of cardiovascular disease, caution should still be taken to prevent injury. More common risks include fatigue, dizziness, headaches, chest pain, muscle soreness, abnormal blood pressure, and shortness of breath. Given Rose’s family history of CVD, her chances may be more than those without the family history, which is another reason why I recommend she be tested, otherwise the already existing symptoms could become worse.
To make the exercise testing as comfortable as possible, it’s important to make appropriate adjustments to meet the needs of the client. I would suggest Rose engage in moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. This will help Rose in the beginning stages of her exercise program to avoid injury or overworking herself. Her fitness level will gradually increase and then she can engage in more intense exercise. In addition to this, I recommend Rose make changes to her diet, by eating more whole foods, drinking more water, and eliminating added sugars. This will help her lose the weight she wants and greatly reduce her risk of CVD.
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