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As a personal trainer and hemophilia advocate, 24-year-old Andrew Selvaggi, who hails from Melbourne, Australia, combines the importance of physical discipline with a passion for helping others who live with bleeding disorders. It’s people like Andrew who inspire positive and healthy attitudes toward physical activity.
Although he attended the Australian Institute of Fitness for his personal training accreditation, Andrew was not always the star athlete he is today.
Time for a Lifestyle Change
From childhood through his teen years, Andrew remained in a wheelchair as a result of his struggle to manage his weight. After recognizing the detrimental effects of his lack of exercise, Andrew found a passion for fitness, got fit and lost more than 35 kilograms, or 77 pounds!
As an adult, Andrew understands that complacency does not have a place in his life, especially when it comes to managing hemophilia. “It's a very, very delicate balance.” He explains, “…too much and I can have a bleed; too little and I start losing fitness ...” Young men, he believes, do not have a real sense of their bodies’ boundaries and need to develop skills to understand what they can and cannot do, physically.
For most of his life, Andrew has worked toward achieving this balance, which involves truly listening to his body and taking advantage of the times when it positively responded to his active lifestyle.
He understands first-hand that staying active and healthy is essential for all-around happiness. “Just because you have hemophilia, doesn’t mean you can't play with your friends, throw the ball around or ride a bike. Our bodies like moving,” explains Andrew.
Andrew’s past gives him a unique perspective. “The only thing I can suggest is to not put yourself in a situation you think is dangerous or could cause a bleed,” said Andrew. He recognizes the merit in staying active, but also says that it is crucial to know when it is time to stop pushing your body.
Another aspect of Andrew’s philosophy engages the need for more education in the hemophilia community. “We are slowly coming out of a time when we all were told not to do anything, because it could cause a bleed. There is a 100-percent need for more education surrounding physical activity, fitness and sports in the hemophilia community,” he said. As a living example of the positive impact of physical activity, Andrew‘s opinion is that strong muscles may lead to strong tendons, higher joint stability, better body movement and metabolism, higher immune system and improved emotional health.
Want to see more about Andrew’s perspective? Frankly.net asked Andrew to create a video-blogging series where he will talk more about his experience and give tips and advice on how to stay fit. Be sure to keep an eye out for the series—right here on Frankly.net!
G.SM.HEM.04.2013.0024 | KN09013112