FITNESS REGIMEN IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
Fitness regimen has come top of mind with the COVID-19 pandemic as the priority on health takes precedence and one such exponent of that in the country is now making the rounds of the Asia Pacific region as one of three Filipino international advisors to a top hydrating product.
And that consultant, tapped to be the strength and conditioning specialist, is no other than Atlas Michelangelo Kale G. Alvarez who is the founder and CEO of Kineticore Philippines, a fitness facility that has been ravaged by the virulence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kale came up with the idea of having a fitness facility in the country after having been a national athlete and being a witness to the lack of a decent strength and conditioning program for the pool of national athletes.
And that is why many athletes had to forego their promising careers due to injuries sustained because of the lack of a fitness regimen that would monitor an athlete’s strength training as well as conditioning protocol so that when the time comes for the competition, the athlete is prepped up to perform at his best. That is what other countries have and which sadly, the Philippines sorely lack.
That was the reason why Kale, who was a varsity member since he was 10 and later part of the national football team, put up the Kineticore Philippines with help from partners to provide the kind of sports training that would level up the performance of local athletes.
Kale had been trying to come to grips with what he had discovered when he was part of the national team in football and later after playing in a First Division Team in Australia. Aside from football, he had also competed in Asian track and field events as a sprinter. He also dabbled in basketball, volleyball and tennis.
“As a former student athlete and a former national athlete, we never had a decent strength and conditioning program. We were always pushing hard on training sessions without proper recovery that led to a lot of injuries or insufficiently trained athletes including myself,” he told The Financial District.
And even when he graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Physical Education from the University of the Philippines Diliman, there was just one facility that offered sports performance training and sports medicine. The problem, though, is that the staff usually left for greener pastures abroad.
Another reason, Kale surmised, was the lack of jobs for graduates of courses in Physical Education and Sports Science as the opportunities present are for PE teachers and commercial gym trainers. And that is what prompted him to put up Kineticore. “I came to realize that I want to have a local facility that will give such services to athletes and open new opportunities to fresh graduates.”
He had been able to prove Kineticore Philippines as a local facility that provides top-of-line conditioning protocol for budding athletes and was even instrumental in seeing through the injuries of aspiring athletes with the right kind of strength conditioning that has been viewed as a necessary prerequisite for top performances. And he had enormous successes in this field.
Marketing whiz Ardee Urbina of The Financial District attests to this. His son, Zachary, who was injured in a baseball competition, was able to again pitch from the mound and it was to him, successfully nursing a shoulder injury that would have cost him his career. “My wife Lillian was so distraught knowing that her son might not be able to play pitcher no longer in a game he so loved!” Ardee added. Thanks to Kale and his team, Zach would eventually return to tip-top form via a strict fitness regimen, snagging a UAAP Finals MVP title along the way to helping the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eaglets clinch the UAAP Season 81 Juniors’ Baseball championship crown.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, though, Kineticore had to transition to online services. “The quarantine really hit our industry hard,” adding “it’s sad to see some facilities close down due to zero income with continued rental payment” but expressed the hope that “things pick up quickly but safely.”
He, however, matter-of-factly accepts the notion that should a vaccine crop up, “people will prioritize parties/gatherings and travelling before building or rebuilding their sports performance, health and fitness.”
“We have accepted that our business will not be profitable at this time. We are not a priority in the people’s lifestyle. We also understand that a lot can’t afford such services now,” Kale said.
And that happens to be true. As a vaccine to address the coronavirus transmission is developed, the people who have been locked down for so long in the comfort of their homes are expected to go full throttle on what they have been doing all along.
Man, being a social animal, would go to great lengths to attend parties, go to malls, spend for cruises, vacation to other places. And somehow, forget the Latin maxim, “mens sana in corpore sano,” a sound mind in a sound body.
Asked what lessons has COVID-19 taught you, Kale echoed that Latin maxim and more.
“To really invest in yourself. Keep your mind and body healthy and fit while enjoying life. At the end of the day, all the riches and material belongings cannot save anybody from a fatal disease,” Kale said. And this is what he aspires for: to be remembered as someone who kept his principles and stayed on the right track of sports science.”
Kale’s credentials had already earned him a spot in the field of strength and conditioning where as a consultant for Gatorade Sports Science Institute in the Asia-Pacific region that covers more than 40 countries that include China, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, he does lectures, seminars, tests and measurements of athletes, and collects data.
Aside from his consultancy, Kale is preparing programs during the quarantine so that when things go back to normal, Kineticore is atop its game. For someone who idolizes the football phenom Ronaldo, he believes that “when athletes return to their respective sports programs, we will be ready to get them back into playing form with new knowledge and skills that we’ve acquired and prepared during the quarantine period.”
He believes that with the lesson that COVID-19 has imparted to the populace, there will be that “realization that fitness and health should be part of their daily routine.” And for Kale, who abhors complicated procedures, “our doors will be open to help anybody become a healthier and fitter version of themselves.”
“The science and results will speak for itself. Sports performance, physical therapy, and fitness don’t have to be fancy to be effective,” Kale said.
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