The benefits of exercise and fitness are well known. Physical activity is essential for overall health, injury prevention, rehabilitation, and quality of life. Sports medicine is a science that involves a team of specially trained health professionals from a wide variety of practice areas, including surgeons, physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, researchers, athletic trainers, coaches, and other professionals. Professional athletes, amateur athletes, female athletes, aging athletes, astronauts, people with disabilities, the young and the old—all individuals may benefit from sports medicine and fitness training.
For the injured athlete, sports medicine can help the recovery process. Athletes are usually in good condition at the time of their injury, and prompt diagnosis and treatment can lessen the duration of disability. Physical therapy exercises focus on flexibility and strengthening and advance to functional drills and sports specific movement patterns. For the non-injured athlete, sports medicine may help optimize your strength, agility, and performance, and help prevent injury.
There are sports medicine programs especially tailored for the needs of female athletes. Researchers have found that menstruation, pregnancy, irregular eating patterns, bone structure, and bone density can affect female athletes. These factors may make female athletes more vulnerable to injury in certain circumstances. Sports medicine doctors, physical therapists, and athletic trainers may help optimize the female athlete’s performance and prevent injury.
For non-athletes, aging athletes, and people with disabilities, sports medicine and fitness training is beneficial for good overall health. Researchers have found that exercise can be an important component of disease and injury prevention. A sports medicine team can assess your baseline cardiovascular, joint, and muscle performance. Your weight, diet, and nutrition status can be considered as well. The sports medicine professionals can work with you to create an individualized exercise and nutrition program that is specific to your needs. They can teach you safe weight training techniques and recommend the appropriate amount of cardiovascular exercise. As you progress, your program will be upgraded to challenge you, but at the same time will be appropriate and safe. Sports medicine professionals are dedicated to helping you live a healthy and productive life.