To adopt a healthier lifestyle, physical activity is essential. Exercise intolerance can be a barrier for many people. However, sports cardiology represents a solution to overcome it. Meeting with Juan Carlos Portugal, French-speaking cardiologist in Barcelona.
Photos: Clementine Laurent Photography
To begin with, could you define sports cardiology?
Clinical cardiology assesses cardiovascular risks and sports cardiology is a component of this. The latter makes it possible to detect if someone has a cardiac risk by playing sports and to help those who experience cardiac fatigue during exercise and to adapt physical exercise to each person’s situation so that it is carried out. without risk. For athletes, this branch of cardiology makes it possible to assess the lack of progress and to help develop the maximum of one’s abilities.
Who are sports cardiology consultations for?
Everyone ! Contrary to popular belief, it is not only athletes who can be followed. We all need physical activity to prevent cardiovascular disease and be healthy.
In addition, since the pandemic and the rise of telework, we have become too sedentary. People who do not walk enough and limit their efforts, as well as those who work most of the time sitting down or who avoid stairs, especially need to continue exercising. If we do not compensate for the sedentary lifestyle with physical exercise, it will be impossible to stay healthy and overcome the intolerance to effort.
Being very short of breath, having severe heart palpitations during physical activity or having an excessively high resting heart rate are characteristics of people with exercise intolerance. These people can develop their capacity for effort thanks to an adapted program.
We also carry out sessions for athletes who wish to improve their performance. For example, patients consult me to prepare for a competition, such as a running or half-marathon. Others run for years without progressing because they don’t have or don’t know the proper heart preparation.
In concrete terms, how do the sessions you offer take place?
It is an eight-week, four-step program. I ask patients to have motivation, time and the ability to organize themselves. Allow 1 hour for a session, three times a week.
The first step is to work on cardiac efficiency, by training the heart to prevent it from accelerating too quickly. The second is to increase the recovery capacity. The patient begins to feel the progress.
Regarding the third stage, the exercises aim to increase cardio-respiratory capacity and develop new abilities.
Finally, the last step is to gradually increase the volume of exercise. The patient is able to sustain longer and longer efforts.
What tests are carried out?
We have all the necessary equipment to carry out tests adapted to each one. A sports aptitude assessment with VO2 Max or oxygen consumption test makes it possible to check whether there are pathologies or risks, and to adapt to each patient to offer him personalized training. The VO2 Max test allows you to know the patient’s total exercise capacity and the heart rate zones to work on.
We have all the necessary equipment to carry out tests adapted to each one. A sports aptitude assessment with VO2 Max or oxygen consumption test makes it possible to check whether there are pathologies or risks, and to adapt to each patient to offer him personalized training. The duo max test allows you to know the patient’s total exercise capacities and the heart rate zones to work on.
After how long do the first results appear?
The results appear after a few weeks. The more the patients have an important intolerance to the effort, the more the results will be seen quickly. On the other hand, for people already in the average, increasing their performance will require more discipline and consistency.
In any case, thanks to rigor and motivation, everyone can go further. It is for this reason that the workouts are progressive in order to prepare the muscles and the heart in the best conditions.
French cardiologist Barcelona – Practical information
Website : cardio2max.com –Instagram @juancarlosportugalcardio
For any request for information or to make an appointment: 935 455 806 / 933 94 00 00 / [email protected]
Address : Medical Tuset Barcelona, Carrer de Tuset 23-25. Entresuelo, 08006 Barcelona