Steroids not the way to fitness

Doctors give a thumbs down to the practice of popping steroid pills to look toned and muscular

Some trainers tell those aspiring for toned bodies to ‘pop a pill’ before the workout to increase stamina and muscle building. They recommend steroids.

They say steroids can help you gain results in a short time. But the effects are adverse, and many people are not aware of them.

Manjunath V, fitness manager, The Fit Nation, says,”It is important for a trainer to have a good physique as many look up to him. In order to get that ideal body and more clients, many trainers depend on steroids,” he says.

An aware trainer will never recommend steroids because he is not a doctor, and hence is not qualified to understand the medical implications on a particular body.

Apart from daily mood swings, hormones change and testosterone drops when people take steroids, he warns.

“The right diet and workout can get you a dream body but it is a goal that cannot be achieved in a short time. People are risking their lives for faster results. One needs dedication and perseverance when it comes to fitness,” he says.

Prashanth Ponnappa, group fitness instructor and personal trainer, echoes the sentiment. “Most people don’t understand the side effects and do it mostly for show. Some of the long-term side effects of oral steroids include acne, high blood pressure, increased appetite resulting in weight gain and increased growth of body hair,” he says.

Dr S Manohar, director, internal medicine, Sakra World Hospital, says, “Anabolic steroids are not recommended at all. Youngsters are using them to increase their muscle girth which makes them look well-built. However, there are long-term effects on one’s endocrine mechanism and liver.”

He says there is no shortcut to fitness. Steroids can cause liver toxicity, and have a long-term effect on bone functions and the immune system, he warns.

“Effort and a good diet involving protein and other nutrients is the perfect way to go,” he says.

Why you should keep away

Steroids cause:
Damage to the testicles or ovaries
Liver diseases Kidneys, liver and heart malfunction.
‘Roid rage’, or uncontrollable outbursts of psychotic aggression.
Mood swings, including deep depression.

Different types
"Anabolic steroids used by sports personalities to enhance performance. Usually recommended by fitness trainers.

Corticosteroids or therapeutic steroids for spinal or brain injuries."

Dr Chirag Thonse, Specialist in sports injures and joint replacement surgeries, Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru

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