Medical Fitness Test Must Be Carried Out Before Anyone Engages In Gym Or Vigorous Exercise – Dr. Betta Edu


Recently the state has been thrown into mourning over the death of a distinguished House of assembly member one loss which we all agree is too much to bear. This could have been avoided!.

In the UK and other countries before people are registered in a Gym or before the even start doing regular/ vigourous exercise, the are subjected to medical fitness test where vital organs in their body like heart and lungs are examined carefully to decide the type of exercise the body can accommodate and what it can not accommodate. This investigation also reveals any underlying illness like hypertension, respiratory diseases etc which could further determine the grade of the exercise the person should be involved with. Above all the gym instructors have equipped themselves with Basic Life Saving Skills as well as ability to conduct a cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case of any emergency.

Unfortunately the reverse is the case in our country Nigeria, first no medical fitness test is done before enrolling people in a Gym. In fact the best you get is a Gym instructor who gives you a tape to measure your size and a weighing scale to check how much you weigh before you start the gym, so you can tell in 6 months if you have lost weight or reduced from a size 14 to size 12.

Everyone irrespective of your health status is subjected to vigorous exercises with a goal to make you sweat profusely and feel exhausted! Sometimes even when you complain of dizziness or weakness, which might be as a result of inability of your heart and system to cope with that level of exercise, you are prompted to push on, or risk been laughed at as “Lazy”

The worst part is the incompetence of some gym instructors or may be I should call it complete ignorance. The have no knowledge of medical fitness test, no knowledge of graded exercises for different persons with various health needs, no knowledge of how the body organs function and their reactions to different types of exercise. Most of them have not been trained on Basic Life Saving Skills and cannot conduct a CPR in case of an emergency.

Sharing in this blame, the staff at stadium clinic of course will come to work at may be 9 or 10 and leave as early as possible not considering the fact that most training activities take place in the early hours of the morning from 5-8am and their services might be needed.

Just before we lose another person to our carelessness it’s time to do the right thing. Everyone presently registered in a Gym or intending to should produce a medical fitness test result.

Gym instructors should be trained on graded exercise for different categories of people with various health needs, start with beginners package and gradually build up from a simple brisk walk to more complex exercise. This is very neccesary. We must all understand that the primary purpose of exercise is to stay health, weight loss or reduction in size is secondary and takes time to accomplish, don’t over stretch the body, everything has got limits!

Sport commission must ensure that all gym instructors or coaches have certification in Basic Life Saving Skills at least which should cover CPR and where necessary Advanced Life Saving Skills.

For the health workers at the calabar stadium clinic, it’s time to change your working hours to effectively met health needs and attend to emergencies as they will always come.

Finally I encourage everyone to do exercise, it is very important. It’s our business and we must a get involved

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