ODESSA, Texas — Whether you're new to the gym or getting back to it after an extended time off, if you're looking to make a rigorous change in your physical activity, healthcare officials like Dr. Rohith Saravanan recommended you speak with your primary physician.
"Have a discussion with your doctor, they can help you with what you should focus on, and how to get the most out of the effort you put in," said Saravanan.
In 2021, there's another wrinkle in the mix, the coronavirus.
If you're like thousands in our community and millions across the nations,, you've been through and recovered from the coronavirus.
Unfortunately we, doctors included, don't know the full effect it's had on our body.
"We don't know enough about Covid-19, and its long term effects on hearts, that's the honest answer," said Saravanan.
That's why it's worth checking with your doctor before you jumpstart a new workout regimen.
"They'll do a physical, they might do an EKG, there might be some blood tests, depending on your condition, and those will tell them how healthy your heart is, and what kind of physical activity you're ready for," said Saravnan.
Now this isn't reason to sound the alarm.
"What we do know is people with mild symptoms do not show a whole lot of heart muscle damage, but people with moderate or severe symptoms, we are seeing some," said Saravanan.
So if you plan on hitting it heavy, it's better to be safe than sorry.
For example, a scary situation unfolded in December when a seemingly healthy college basketball star player collapsed on the court in the middle of a game.
Keyontae Johnson of the University of Florida had recovered from Covid months prior, but was diagnosed with myocarditis after the scary incident.
Thankfully, he's since recovered.
"A lot of viral infections do cause inflammation of heart muscles. That's the definition of myocarditis, and a lot of viral infections cause that," said Saravnan.
So if at any time in your trips to the gym you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, uncommon fatigue or any other uncommon symptoms, stop what you're doing and consult with your physician.