This post is sponsored by Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care. Thanks for supporting!
Hi, my friends! I hope your week is going well.
So today, we’re doing something a little bit different on the ol’ blog. My friends at Dignity Health, which is a huge health care system in the Bay Area, reached out to me to let me know that they have partnered on a new urgent care location with GoHealth Urgent Care, called the Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, and it’s the ninth urgent care center to open in the San Francisco Bay Area. They wanted to share some health tips in conjunction with that news, and I was intrigued. Truthfully, I didn’t know much about urgent care centers, as I haven’t been to one in many years, and as we started talking about those centers as well as the medical field, I thought it would be fun to get a chance to ask questions to a doctor related to fitness and health. Because, even though we trainers know the ins and outs of creating a safe fitness program, doctors have an entirely different set of knowledge based on what they see every day.
And for most of us who don’t work in the medical field, we have some questions …
Common fitness and health questions answered by a doctor
I submitted a whole host of questions to the Dignity Healthy-GoHealth Urgent Care folks and got back quite a few answers that I thought you guys might want to know. Thank you to Dr. Kyle Lennon from Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, who specializes in sports medicine and provided his input, and you can find MY comments in parenthesis after each answer.
What are the most common fitness-related injuries and ailments that you see come into your office?
The most common fitness-related injuries are usually due to overuse. These ailments include muscle strains and tendinitis.
(People, don’t drive yourself to an overuse injury. I’ve done it, we’ve all done it, and it’s totally preventable. Take a regular rest day, have some lighter days and switch up your workout routine. Also, having better and proper form when you work out will help to keep your muscular alignment in check, which can also help you avoid injuries as well. For instance, in a squat, your knees should always be pointing in the direction of your toes. And you can help your alignment and form by warming up properly before each workout.)
How can someone tell if they are just sore from a workout or have pulled a muscle and need to seek medical help?
It is normal to experience some muscle soreness, especially after strenuous exercise. If you experience muscle swelling, severe pain or even dark urine, you should seek medical attention right away. Also, pain that doesn’t improve after a few days may be a sign of a more serious injury.
(Speaking of soreness, it’s totally okay to do a hard workout and NOT get sore. That doesn’t mean you didn’t do anything beneficial. Sometimes, you just won’t get sore. But if you do wake up super stiff, try walking around and stretching for a bit to loosen up. If your stiffness is combined with sickness or any of the symptoms mentioned above, you may need to seek professional help.)
If someone believes that they pulled a muscle during a tough workout, what should they do to soothe it at home?
Rest. Then ice the area for 20 minutes, every few hours, for 1 to 2 days. Compression can also be helpful.
(And yes, you should skip your next workout if you have a major muscle pain. It’s just not worth risking more damage, which could keep you out of the gym for a long time.)
Are there any medications that can affect someone’s ability to work out? If so, which ones and how?
A lot of over-the-counter medications, such as allergy and cough medicine, can make you drowsy, so it is best to avoid those medications while working out. It is also best to avoid decongestants while exercising, in order to prevent dangerous elevations in your blood pressure and to decrease the risk of heat illness.
(This is why trainers always ask if you are taking any medication. It’s important to get all of that information out there to the people who are trying to help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals. Don’t lie to your trainer, and don’t lie to your doctor either … or your friends or parents for that matter … I mean, don’t lie at all.) 🙂
How can someone who often works out in public places avoid getting sick?
To avoid getting sick while working out in a public place you should always wash your hands and wipe down the equipment before and after use.
(As a polite gym member, hopefully you are already wiping down the equipment that you use with the spray and towels provided by the gym after your workout — don’t just wipe it down with your sweat towel. But this tip suggests wiping the equipment before your use as well, which is probably a good idea. The same goes for gym mats and foam rollers. I like to bring my own roller (here’s my fave) just because of the nature of how we use it, and I always recommend that as well. With weights and weight machines, gloves are a good idea, as long as you frequently wash your gloves (here are my fave). Oh, and don’t touch your face, nose or eyes, if your hands are dirty from gym equipment — that’s just a given.)
What should parents know about keeping their kiddos well in the hot summer months when they are playing outdoors?
The two best ways to prepare your kids for hot summer months are to apply sunscreen every two hours and to keep them hydrated. Swimming is a great way to stay cool.
(For the hydration thing, this goes for EVERYONE. Most of us should be drinking more water, and during the heat of the summer, we should increase that even more. Our bodies are mostly made up of water, but we lose water through sweat during the day, so we have to be compensating with extra drinking. So you may as well bring a water bottle with you. Here’s my fave.)
What do you see as the most beneficial form of exercise for women? What about for men? And why?
Both men and women should perform some form of cardiorespiratory exercise most days of the week. Resistance training should also be performed at least twice a week.
(This advice he gives is the standard from the American Heart Association, and I’d like to take it a step further. Men and women need a mix of cardio, strength AND flexibility over the course of the week. And when I say strength, that can include lifting weights, using a resistance tube or even using your own bodyweight for strength work like push-ups and pull-ups, for at least two sessions of 20 minutes. Moral of the story, don’t get stuck in a cardio-only rut, and make sure you diversify your weekly movement patterns and don’t sit too much. If you want to know how to create a great week of workouts, sign up for my email list and enjoy the free gift download with much more information on the topic.)
If someone feels sick, should they still work out? How can you decide if you should rest or work out?
If you have a fever, you should not work out. Generally, it is safe to work out with a “cold,” but if you have chest congestion or shortness of breath, exercise should be avoided until you feel better.
(Do what the doctor says — sometimes, you can power through, and other times, you should take a break.)
What are your thoughts on juice cleanses and detoxes? Are they beneficial? Who is a good candidate for them and why?
I do not typically recommend juice cleanses or detoxes, because they are temporary. In my opinion, committing yourself to eating healthy every day makes more sense — avoiding processed foods and increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables is a good way to start.
(Amen. I’m not a registered dietitian, but I’ve never been a fan of anything that has detox or cleanse in the title. Our bodies naturally cleanse themselves, especially if you drink enough water, exercise, sleep and eat plenty of fruits and veggies. No need for extremes, people. Eat healthy food.)
That’ll do it for the question portion. Here’s a bit more information I learned from the Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care team …
What’s an urgent care and why should you go
Not having used an urgent care center recently or an emergency room ever in my life (knocking on wood so many times), I wasn’t really familiar with what each place should be used for. According to the folks at Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, you can be treated for many common ailments at their centers, as well as a few slightly more serious things that don’t warrant a trip to a busy ER. And they take all kinds of medical insurance, walk-ins and appointments.
For instance, here’s what urgent care centers treat: allergies, cough, cold, mild fever, cuts, stitches, dehydration, diarrhea, ear ache, rash, sore throat, sprain or strain, UTIs, vomiting, insect bites and more. However, if you have any issues relating to your pregnancy, chest pain, seizures or difficult bleeding, head straight to the hospital or ER.
Good to know!
San Francisco Bay Area Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care locations
My Bay Area friends, we are lucky to have nine Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care centers in our region. The locations are as follows: Castro, Cole Valley, Excelsior, Glen Park, Lower Pacific Heights, Marina, North Beach, Redwood City and the newest in Daly City.
You can visit the Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care site to see the exact addresses of each location, as well as the wait times here.
Hope you learned something new, my friends! Be safe out there. Hydrate. Rest when needed and consult your doctor if you’re in doubt.
Have a fab day, my friends! I’ll see you back here soon for some fun stuff!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care. While I received compensation, all the thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who support A Lady Goes West.See if you learn anything new here! Fitness and health questions answered by a doctor ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
How is your week going?
What’s your number-one summer safety tip?
What other questions would you want to ask a doctor?