BBJ Fitness Corner | Second wind phenomenon

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YOU already feel too tired during a run but then you suddenly gain new strength to continue.

That is commonly known as second wind, Gold's Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz said. 

When he was still playing for a basketball team, he said his coach would tell him and his teammates to break through to that “next level of performance.”

“I did not have a clue what that meant,” Diaz said. “But I wanted to be the hardest working player on the court by ignoring pain and exhaustion as much as I could.”

He eventually learned to tap into his second wind so he could continue to perform at peak levels.

NMI tennis player Bobby Cruz said, “As an athlete, you know that fatigue is normal, but once you have trained to keep going and push past what's uncomfortable, then you get to your second wind and suddenly you can keep going and keep fighting.”


Bobby Cruz reaches out for a return power shot during a tennis training session. Contributed photo

So how do you access your second wind?

According to Men’s Journal:

“As you exercise and your breathing becomes more strenuous, the oxygen level in your body gets depleted. That causes lactic acid to build up throughout, giving you a sluggish feeling and making you want to quit.

“But as you get more comfortable with the exertion and are able to take more productive breaths, says Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., of Columbia University, your body starts to deliver adequate oxygen — which breaks down the lactic acid — as well as energy substrates (like phosphatidylcholine, glycogen, and triglycerides) to the muscles, both of which work to counterbalance that blah feeling.

“That’s getting your second wind.

“The best practice is to start slow, and work into catching the wind. If you overexert yourself too quickly, chances are you’ll crash and burn.”

Diaz said it is important to listen to your body. The body, he added, requires three to four months to build up strength and conditioning and to allow its circulatory system to evolve and adjust to the stresses an individual goes through. As the body develops tolerance, it becomes more capable of producing energy that allows you to exercise or perform at a higher intense level, Diaz said.



Nutrition 4th Edition/ Paul Insel. 2011

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