Trying Athlete Part 1: (Trying to be an) Athlete

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Strengthening and Conditioning, Uncategorized

I didn’t grow up in a sporty and athletic family. My parents showed no interest in sports and my siblings and I weren’t encouraged to participate in any sport when we were growing up (or even until now!). As a matter of fact, we were even prohibited to join from playing outdoors partly because my parents might have been overprotective – but that would be for a future blog post, under the parenting category. 🙂

I grew up with hereditary asthma, and that is another big reason why they did not let me participate in too much physical activities. The only physical activity that I remember my parents encouraged me to learn was swimming, because my father believed that it is an essential life skill for survival and because swimming is widely known (or suspected) to manage asthma and alleviate it’s symptoms. But do you know that there is actually no evidence that swimming improves asthma? If you have asthma, it is recommended that you do regular exercise as long as you know how to manage your symptoms. You can check this out for additional information.

I took up a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science in College as a pre-med course, not knowing what to expect in the 5-year course. Because I was not really athletic, the first P.E. class I took was Chess. Now, there’s nothing wrong with taking up Chess for your first P.E., but for me, I realized eventually that it was a blessing to study Sports Science because I appreciated more how God engineered the human body and how it’s supposed to work. I realized the value of physical training and how fitness and wellness is important to everyone. Being the nerd that I was (or still am. :p), I became interested in Human Kinetics and Exercise Physiology among the subjects that I took up.

But knowing all about the body and how it works is one thing, applying everything I learned is another.

Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase. ~Joseph Pilates
There is a common misconception that people with asthma can only move so much, and they (we) are limited from doing aerobic activities, where movements are done repeatedly for a long period of time (more than 60mins) which cause our lungs to be exhausted. Anaerobic activities are those that involve strength but not as much endurance (for example, lifting a grocery bag in and out of the car – you only do a few repetitions of the movement for a short period of time). I was an adherent to that misconception, so I thought that the next best P.E. class for an asthmatic is Weight Training. So I took up the class for the next semester in my first year in University. And I fell in love with the mixed smell of iron, sweat, and rust.

See my next post in “Trying Athlete Part 2”. 🙂

Do you have asthma?
“Eight out of ten people with asthma aren’t doing enough exercise, often because they’re worried it will trigger their symptoms. But actually exercise can help your asthma, so don’t let it hold you back!”

Check this link out for more info on asthma and exercise.

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