Sports check-up

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Learn more about the Sports Check-up Programme

Choosing a sport which is most suited to our needs depends on the key bodily functions used in exercise (skill, strength, speed, coordination, resistance and sustained resistance) and our character.

Sporting activities that involve aim, coordination and sustained resistance can be learnt at any age, whilst those which involve speed, strength or resistance, should be avoided above a certain age.

The highest risk group are men over 35 years old who start practicising a sport without preparation. Seeing a sports medicine specialist is recommended in order to evaluate the heart ́s status and its resistance.

Practicar deporte de forma moderada resulta beneficioso para la salud cardiovascular

Under 35 years old

For people under 35 years old, including children and adolescents, the analysis of the causes of sudden death show that:

  • 90% of the time, it is caused by a congenital heart malformation 
  • 7% are caused by cardiomyopathy 
  • 2% are caused by arrhythmias
  • 1% are caused by other factors, such as drugs

Over 35 years old

In this group, when we analyse the causes of sudden death, we find that:

  • 90% of the cases, it ́s caused by lesions in the coronary arteries due to acute ischemic cardiopathology (heart attack, arrhythmia, etc.).
  • 7% are caused by cardiomyopathy 
  • 2% are caused by severe aortic stenosis
  • 0.5% are caused by arrhythmias.
  • Another 0.5% are caused by drugs or pharmaceuticals

When choosing a sport that is best suited to our fitness and way of living, we have to remember:


All sports develop one or various key functions in the body and we must remember this when choosing which sport to do. Depending on the sport, you will need to use more or less skills, including strength, speed, coordination, resistance and sustained resistance. 

Sporting activities that involve aim, coordination and sustained resistance can be learnt at any age, whilst those which involve speed, strength or resistance, should be avoided above a certain age.


Additionally when choosing a sport, we must see if it agrees with our character. 

  • Enthusiastic people feel inclined to do sports which involve resistance and sustained resistance. They will get along well with sports like cycling, rowing, cross-country skiing and racing. Furthermore, due to their optimistic character and self-control, they will be able to gain long term skills and train dedicatedly.
  • Hot-blooded people feel more attracted to physical exhausting sports. They do not do sports specifically to exercise and get fit, and are not completely dedicated to one activity. They usually enjoy hiking, golf, regattas, etc.
  • Sentimental people are more introverted and like spending time alone and thinking which means that physical exercise doesn ́t appeal to them. They tend to remain inactive, and are happy doing nothing. For them, pleasant and light-hearted group activities are usually recommended, like walking, skiing or archery.
  • Nervous people have a tendency to change between a number of sports and have difficulties practising one sport continuously as they are attracted to new sports and get bored easily. They need to experience new sensations and emotions. They enjoy doing seasonal activities that can be carried out in the fresh air. They benefit from interaction with animals and enjoy fishing and gardening.
  • Phlegmatic people like to avoid any activity, and especially, group sports. They feel more inclined towards intellectual activities and strategy sports. They also like routine and for them, they usually enjoy training that requires persistency.
  • Passionate people run the risk of exceeding themselves in training and are prone to small accidents. They should regulate their physical activity and alternate between periods of intense exercise and rest periods. Their emotive nature is an obstacle for high risk sports as they can do more harm than good for their body. 
  • People who are not interested in sport take advantage of the smallest amount of time to relax and do nothing. They take pleasure in exercising in a small group of warm-hearted people who lead the given activity. They ́re interested in all sports and, if they find one they really like, they reach a good level, although they need to make a habit of practicing regularly.
  • Lazy people are also inclined towards doing no physical activity and have a tendency of not worrying about their fitness and health. They avoid responsibility and like to receive immediate satisfaction from their efforts. They need to integrate in a group when doing sport, and are usually quite closed off but do activities with good character. They normally choose simple sports which are practised for fun such as walking, cycling, sailing, golf and fishing.

A sports assessment performed by a specialist is very important, especially for individuals who are starting the practice of exercise and who are over 40 years old. 

Indeed, there are risk factors that we know about, such as smoking, but there are also unknown factors, such as high cholesterol or a family history of myocardial infarction. Additionally, in individuals with risk factors, coronary arteries can gradually close without causing any symptoms. Starting a sport under these circumstances is extremely dangerous because it can cause an acute infarction.

A sports assessment should include tests that help rule out coronary artery disease (electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, blood tests, etc.) and a cardiopulmonary stress test on a bicycle or treadmill. These tests help us design specific exercise programmes based on the individual’s objectives, from losing weight to improving marathon times.

Furthermore, the specialist will help the individual determine the effectiveness of exercise. Some people who routinely practice sports do not know what heart rate and intensity they have to exercise at to obtain a benefit.

Another important objective of the sports assessment is to prevent exercise-related injuries and deal with pre-existing injuries. 

A sports check-up allows us to rule out any possible diseases that could affect the sports man or woman's performance, in this way the patient can carry on practising sports whilst avoiding any risks of lesions that arise from exercising with poor technique".

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