what is athleticism

What Does It Mean To Be Athletic? The Surprising Answer You Need To Know

Perhaps you have an idea of what the term “athletic” means, but you might also be asking yourself just what is the real significance behind it? Granted, there are varying degrees of how we determine athleticism, but it can be very puzzling to those who are or strive to be more fit and exercise-minded.

With that said, we are here to help! In this article, we will answer some of your questions on what is athleticism, as well as ways that you can possibly go about becoming athletic yourself. Pretty soon, you will be one in no time.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get started!


What does “athleticism” mean?

At its very basic definition, the word “athleticism” means the state of being athletic, or focused on exercise and fitness.

Perhaps some things which first come into your mind when you see this word are thoughts about the “biggest, strongest, fastest, or most talented” players in the sports profession, from sprinters like Usain Bolt to swimmers like Michael Phelps.

Or maybe you associate the word with your own personal experiences of running and training for 5Ks, or know someone who is doing so as well.

How can we challenge the common notion of being athletic?

As previously stated, we tend to believe that having athleticism, let alone being athletic, is associated with those who are professional sports players, or those who train constantly and succeed in competitions.

However, this is not necessarily the case: rather than athleticism being about competition and success, it is based on passion: for instance, even you are not the fastest runner out there, but still enjoy running constantly, then you can consider yourself as an athlete.

In the end, having the love and drive to continue doing the sport matters more than accomplishing a goal for the sake of it.

How do I know if I’m athletic?

From what was discussed, being athletic is not just performing the sport regularly, but also being passionate about it. That said, evaluate yourself with these set of questions (in terms of running):

  • Do you tend to run more than what is required for the minimum in terms of cardio exercise (namely, more than three times a week)?
  • Do you often work out for long bouts of time, i.e. more than the 60 minutes of daily exercise standard?
  • ​Do you prioritize exercise over other matters?
  • ​Have you participated in races, either for competition or just for fun?
  • Do you have the drive/passion to push yourself to improve your athletic performance?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you can definitely consider yourself as being athletic. In essence, it comes down to what you perceive yourself as, and how you go about responding to it. Either way, it is up to you.

How can I become athletic?

On the other hand, perhaps you do not consider yourself as athletic- that is not a problem. However, you have the desire to become more active in your lifestyle, and you might be wondering how to do so. Becoming athletic is actually not as hard as you think, if you follow these simple steps:

  • Find a sport you enjoy doing.

    Before becoming athletic, one important thing to consider is what kind of sport you would like to do. For instance, do you see yourself as a runner or are you considering a team sport like basketball or soccer?

    It is essential to find something you can see yourself doing in the long run, for if it does not interest you, then it will be difficult to keep it up over time. It might take you a while to find something before settling on it, but in the end, it will be worth it.
  • Find time to practice it.

    Now that you have found a sport you enjoy doing, it is now time to practice it. Perhaps you might have a busy schedule and cannot afford to do it during the daytime.

    However, finding ways to circle around the problem and fit practice into your daily routine will be rewarding, and it can even improve your scheduling and time management skills!
  • Make the effort to remain consistent.

    Being athletic is not simply a matter of working hard for a couple of months to reach a goal, then stopping.

    Instead, it is a life-long commitment to staying healthy and fit, so it is best to keep a routine going, whether a couple times a week to daily practice. We guarantee you that you will feel good and in control of your life by doing so!
  • Know your limits.

    Now, this is a difficult one to follow. When the going gets rough, people have two choices: they can decide to push themselves beyond their abilities or give up.

    While the former option seems better than the latter, it is not necessarily so. In fact, pushing yourself too much can be harmful to your health, as your body requires time to recover; not taking enough time off to repair your muscles can lead to injuries, whether in the short-term or the long-term.

    Giving up easily is not the most ideal decision, either, for you will not improve your athleticism because of that. Therefore, it is best to strike a balance between both extremes, as means of getting better at the sport in a safe and healthy way.


All in all, the definition of “athleticism” can apply to just about anyone who practices and is passionate about a particular sport, e.g. running. It does not necessarily mean you have to be good at the sport, but rather motivated to do so.

In addition, by having the mindset that you are athletic (regardless of being professional or successful), it can help you stay motivated and healthy in life.

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