Exercise and Sport
It is well documented the importance of exercise and the health benefits it brings to your body. For me it is my best form of treatment for Cystic Fibrosis along with nutrition. Exercise brings many health benefits physical and mental.
Exercise is vital in all walks of life whether you have Cystic Fibrosis or you don’t. It is a great way to clear mucus from your lungs, help you grow, build muscle and has great mental benefits. The moment you can start is the time you should start, do not delay it. Everyone is it at different starting levels and that is ok. The important thing is that you do start. Make a commitment to it.
I feel it should be started from a very young age as the benefits can only be positive. If you are a parent with a child with Cystic Fibrosis get them involved in all sports, team and individual. This will help them grow physically and mentally. Sports in and out of school. Being involved in sports from a young age helped me meet friends, become comfortable talking about my condition and gave me the ability to compete. I was not isolated as I competed in team sports and became comfortable talking about Cystic Fibrosis if people asked me and my friends became combatable with it too.
Too many children these days would rather sit on their x-box than be out playing with their friends. When I was a kid growing up I tried all sports and if I wasn’t playing organised sport I was with my friends playing sports or games like Man Hunt, Blocky, Knock and Run, you name it we played it, it was constant. The body was always working and moving from climbing tree’s, running around the park it was great exercise.
Exercise does not have to be organised sport it can be mountain/dog walking, jogging, cycling etc. As long as you are moving you are exercising. Find something that you enjoy.
As well as the physical benefits exercise and sport also gives you mental and emotional benefits. You develop and advance your total body awareness. You gain fundamentals that can help you succeed in daily life. I advise everyone to exercise and parents with Cystic Fibrosis children to get their child involved in sports and daily activities from the earliest stage possible.
Physical Activity helps clear the lungs of mucus by acting as a form of physio. I believe exercise has played a massive contribution to my health. I have always taken part in some sort of exercise whether it running, athletics, the gym, football or MMA. This is a great way for me to open up the lungs clearing the chest which improves my physical health. Each day I aim to get fitter by pushing my lungs more and eventually I develop and improve. It’s become part of the process. The fitter I am the higher my lung function. Smart work is effective, knowing when to push my limits and when to take it lighter. You cannot push your body hard every day as that will have a negative effect. Knowing when you can comes through time and experience; you have to be your own science project.
Exercise Has Many Physical Benefits:
Fights Health Conditions: Exercise keeps the body alive with movement and physical stress. The old saying if you don’t use it you lose it. Exercise helps fight a wide range of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and life style related Illnesses. It will lower your heart rate and develop you physically and mentally.
Exercise Boosts Energy and Improves Mood: Exercise improves confidence and helps release chemicals such as endorphins that make you feel good. You become more confident in yourself and proud of your achievements. A study by National Health and Nutrition found that people that exercised were half as likely to be depressed. It also helps to reduce stress.
Exercise is Fun: There are many types of ways to exercise. It does not have to be a sport it can be anything from walking a dog to cycling through the park or playing golf. There are many activities that we can find to enjoy that count as exercise.
Brain Benefits: Exercise helps you become more creative, boosts brain memory and sharpens your mind to become more creative. Exercise releases a protein in the body that helps with higher thinking, decision making, and learning.
Exercise helps you grow mentally: Being involved in sport or exercise helps you develop as a person and will help you in life. It challenges you and helps you grow by overcoming the challenges you set for yourself. You see yourself develop and this motivates you. You achieve things that you once could not and then you start to realise that anything is possible in life if you commit to it. Progress of meeting inner challenges and overcoming them on your journey has great benefits. Dont judge yourself by athletes on the television or how good your friends are. Judge yourself by how much you improve, how you have developed and your progress. You will overcome a lot more than you thought you could by taking part in sport or exercise and meet new people from all walks of life and generally feel better about yourself. Some of my best friends I met because of sport.
There is nothing you have not already heard and probably didn’t already know from reading this blog. My aim is to hopefully motivate you to start exercising. Nothing is easy and don’t expect to be great straight away. What you get from sport and activity is more than just physical gains. It helps you mentally and emotionally in ways that can improve your overall life. It can help you gain a deeper awareness of who you are and how your body works. Start small and gradually progress with small resistance. Each time work out of your comfort zone. Look to start exercising whether it is walking daily, joining a gym or local sports team. Add something into your life that you can enjoy and can have a huge impact on your health. Start small but start and you will be amazed how far you can get. When you start it will inspire others around you to also start.
Being involved in sport and exercise made me see that if you committed to something you would improve and achieve things you once could not. I think this is a great skill to have if you have Cystic Fibrosis or not as it will make you more successful in life. The reason it relates so well to Cystic Fibrosis as you learn not to just accept what you are told or your current state of health. You learn that with hard work things can improve, things can get better and you can achieve things. You begin to compete with the condition and you learn that at times you can whip its ass!!!!!