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Professional Fitness Advice from the Pros’ Doc

July 30, 2019

Editor: As someone who has worked with thousands of college and elite professional athletes, what advice would you give to those who want to start or maintain a successful fitness program?

Dr. Damion A. Martins: Begin by understanding your individual road map for success. What motivates you to exercise? What type of exercise do you enjoy? Are your goals specific and trackable? Would information from a fitness tracker help motivate you?

Monitoring your pre- and post-workout behavior could significantly help you target weight loss. For example, you may be working out at the wrong intensity level. I’ve seen people who go through an hour-long spin class, grab a Frappuccino on their way home, and then wonder why they haven’t lost any weight.

During high-intensity cardio, you burn primarily carbohydrates, which can cause a drop in blood sugar and create sharp hunger spikes that often lead to poor diet choices. That same person might be better served performing longer, lower-intensity workouts (below their anaerobic threshold) so they burn primarily fat.

If you are struggling to determine your optimal fat-burning zone, we offer exercise testing and specific exercise prescriptions to help you train smarter, not harder.

Atlantic Sports Health offers a variety of resources for patients who want to know more about injury prevention, training, nutrition and living an active life. Medical professionals can work with you to increase your strength, speed, agility, flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular endurance and overall conditioning.

We offer sports performance physicals, including electrocardiograph (EKG) testing, lab work, body composition analysis, flexibility analysis, functional movement screening, biomechanical evaluation and more to help reach your athletic goals at any level.

For more information, visit atlantichealth.org/sportshealth or call 973-971-6898.

Damion A. Martins, MD, MS, is medical director of sports medicine, director of the Executive Health Program, and director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship for Atlantic Health System. Dr. Martins is the director of internal medicine and team physician for the National Football League’s (NFL) New York Jets, where he has served as a medical consultant since 2002 and member of the NFL Team Physician Society. His extensive experience on both the professional and collegiate levels also includes National Hockey League (NHL) team physician; administrative medical director for Major League Soccer (MLS); and medical coverage for the U.S. Open Golf Championship, U.S. Open Tennis Championships, New York Islanders, New York Dragons, Hofstra University and the College of St. Elizabeth. He is currently a medical advisor for the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association and Parisi Speed School.