Joint problems, asthma, overweight and pregnancy are often given as the reason for completely avoiding sport. The widespread view is that you do more harm to the body than good by subjecting it to increased stress. But this is a misguided view: only those who are in physically poor shape as the result of a serious illness or following a major operation should take the doctor’s recommendations to heart and forgo sporting activities altogether. In all other cases, anyone who chooses the right kind of sport will always remain fit and healthy even when they are physically impaired in any way.
Arthritis of the knee is a widespread condition that can be made worse by sports that out a strain on the joints. Nevertheless, even in such cases sparing the knee joint is the wrong approach: Anyone who has joint problems should exercise as much as possible – but in the right way. Instead of jogging and hiking downhill, they should go walking, cycling, swimming or cross-country skiing.
Contrary to popular opinion, sport is not a taboo for sufferers of asthma. On the contrary, if you suffer from asthma, you can engage in any kind of sport, even competitive sports, provided you have good medical care and go for regular check-ups with a lung specialist. And you should also avoid stressful irritant factors, such as pollen, high ozone values and extreme cold.
For very overweight people and diabetics, sport is essential. Moderate endurance sport promoted weight reduction and regulates the blood sugar levels. Before starting out, however, an appointment with the doctor is indicated: The doctor can determine on the basis of your condition how much exercise is advisable and what kinds of sport are suitable. As a rule, joint-sparing exercise, such as cycling and Nordic walking, is recommended.
Women who already did a lot of sport before pregnancy do not have to become a couch potato because of their changed circumstances. Moderate endurance sports such as walking and swimming or muscle training in the form of Pilates and yoga are the best kind of antenatal care for mother and child. The intensity of the exercise should be adjusted individually in line with the course of the pregnancy. Your gynaecologist will inform you as to which sport at what intensity is appropriate for your condition.