It’s already the 2nd month of the New Year. And already, I have seen my fair share of “New Year’s Resolution Injuries.” Many people have set a goal of losing weight and getting healthier. They’ve begun to exercise. They’ve joined gyms, enrolled in bootcamps, and jumped on the latest exercise fad workout. And shortly after, they’ve arrived in my office with injuries to their knees, shoulders, backs, hips that have derailed their efforts.

We all know that exercise is important for our overall health. People who exercise on a routine basis tend to live happier, healthier, and longer lives. However, getting started can be the biggest challenge.

How do I do it? What are my goals? How much is too much?

Most people who are beginning exercise are doing so for improved health. Therefore, it is critically important to assess your health prior to developing an exercise program that is effective — and SAFE.

Fortunately, the level of exercise needed for overall health is probably much less than what most of us think. For health and wellness, going for a walk, gently peddling a bicycle, or gardening can be effective exercises for health maintenance. Good health through exercise is well within reach, even for those of us (myself included) with musculoskeletal injuries or degenerative conditions….. (hint: it’s much less than those commercials for gyms would have you believe.)

At IBJI, we have an exercise assessment called “METHOD TESTING” which allows us to determine a unique metabolic fingerprint for each individual. The basis of metabolic testing is determining when your body begins to produce lactic acid during movement and exercise. Lactic acid is a byproduct of burning the least efficient fuel in your body. Its what your body produces when you have run out of the BEST gas, figuratively speaking. It comes from burning “emergency stores.” Prolonged but sustainable exercise burns fuel that is readily available and high efficient – fat stores. Fat stores provide the BEST fuel for your body. When your body is fueling with fat stores, your body does NOT produce lactic acid.

METHOD TESTING allows us to determine at what heart rate and workload your body is beginning to produce lactic acid. With this knowledge, we can tailor make an exercise program just for you that allows you to burn the most efficient fuel in your body (fat stores) without producing lactic acid buildup. Your unique heart rate profile and metabolic fingerprint can help us help you achieve your exercise goals. Exercising for weight loss and fitness? …. we can target a heart rate…. YOUR IDEAL HEART RATE … for your goal. Exercising for improved performance? There’s a heart rate for that too…. again based on YOUR metabolism. This is the ultimate patient-specific workout program.

How is Method Testing performed? It requires a treadmill, step climber, or stationary bike. We slowly increase your workload, monitor your heart rate, and test your lactic acid levels through minimally invasive blood sampling. A unique metabolic fingerprint will be generated — YOUR METABOLIC FINGERPRINT — that can be used to design a goal – specific program for you.

For more information about Method testing, please contact Cory Leman at

Post submitted by Dr Eric Chehab, MD, Orthopedic Physician with OrthoHealth – Illinois Bone and Joint Institute

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