The Grey Area Between Doctors & Fitness

A doctor studies the human body from a medical point of view, but this does not automatically qualify him as an expert in exercise physiology, human biomechanics, sports nutrition and supplementation or any of the multitudes of complex training exercises. Unless he specialises, the standard medical curriculum simply does not cover these specialist areas.

In fact, over the last few decades’ doctors have made unbelievable mistakes regarding training and fitness. For instance, doctors were once officially quoted as saying that anabolic (muscle enhancing) steroids had…wait for it…”no muscle building effects on the body whatsoever!” Further – more, doctors per se, are not the ones leading the field or making all the constant new discoveries in the health and fitness world. Sports nutritionists, exercise physiologists and sportsmen in general tend to be responsible for all these considerable advances. On the other hand, fitness experts are most certainly not doctors and should never pretend to be! Nonetheless, there is no doubt whatsoever that the two fields of expertise overlap quite extensively.

The human body does not change its properties simply because a doctor or trainer is studying it; after all, laws regarding muscle contraction or protein/carbohydrate synthesis are constant. The common ground therefore is the human body itself and all its immense complexities. However, where medicine and fitness start to separate is the precise way in which this extensive knowledge or the human body (anatomy, physiology, nutrition etc.) is applied or utilised.

Let’s take the “heart” as just one example, because it falls well within this grey area owing to its critical role in the body. Doctors deal with millions of heart problems every day: blood flow, valve inefficiency, disease, enlarged, to fast, to slow, neurological / hormonal / enzyme problems etc.; but fitness of course also involves the heart. In fact its general condition and ability to function properly under stress is absolutely crucial for sportsman. The heart itself is a muscle and needs to be trained just like any other muscle (although the cell types are different). A well-conditioned heart has numerous benefits for the body, some of which include:

A] Better blood flow.

B] More oxygen supplied to the working muscles, brain and internal organs.

C] Better expulsion of toxic wastes.

D] Lower pulse.

E] Less workload under stressful conditions ( both physical & mental).

Therefore, although doctors and fitness experts study the heart in their own particular specialists field, they can both learn and benefit from one another’s expertise. This interchangeability or 2-way referral system is based on common ground that exists between 2 distinct specialised fields of expertise. This common factor is the human body and everything pertaining to it. And it is exactly what constitutes this “grey area! “