Cycling saved this heart attack survivor's life: Jason Tay

This heart attack survivor completed 100km in the recent OCBC Cycle virtual ride and hopes to raise awareness about how cycling and a healthy lifestyle can help on the road to recovery

PHOTO: OCBC CYCLE


After suffering a heart attack at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Mr Jason Tay had to undergo two separate operations and recalled being so weak that he needed to use a walking stick.


Due to the nature of the pandemic, he was also unable to attend rehabilitative services.


Mr Jason then turned to indoor cycling to progressively build up his stamina and strength, and started to ride outdoors soon after. Cycling was the most comprehensive form of exercise for him with varying levels of intensity that he could adapt according to his fitness levels.

PHOTO: OCBC CYCLE


Through this, he not only rediscovered his love for cycling, but it also helped him on his road to recovery.


Wanting to push himself further, Mr Jason signed up for his first OCBC Cycle event in 2020. The virtual rides allowed him to cover longer distances at his own pace and gave him something to work towards.


“The virtual ride really suited me and my condition because I was able to cover the required distance at my own pace while still setting myself personal targets along the way,” he shared.

PHOTO: OCBC CYCLE


In 2020, he completed the 42 km virtual ride in two sessions and achieved the same distance in just one session the following year. Challenging himself again, he participated in the 100km virtual ride in 2022 where he completed the distance in just two sessions.


“OCBC Cycle has given me a yearly milestone to work towards, and without the virtual rides, I don’t think I would ever have cycled beyond 10km. Being able to complete 100km is something I did not think possible a year ago, but I am proud to have been able to achieve this goal.”


To prepare, Mr Jason progressively increased the frequency of his rides and the distances he covered each time. He would also select different cycling routes based on his focus for that day, such as speed training or climb training. As a heart attack survivor, he also had to carefully monitor his heart rate.

PHOTO: OCBC CYCLE


Despite not sharing his love for cycling, Mr Jason’s wife is one of his biggest supporters. To add a little fun and adventure to his rides, she would make requests to try certain food from different hawker centres each week so that he can explore different routes and see different parts of Singapore.


“I personally enjoy routes with a lot of greenery. The green corridor is my favourite, and I use it as my cycling highway to many hawker centres that have good food.”


Having accomplished the 100km OCBC Cycle virtual ride, Mr Jason is setting his sights on new goals. He is aiming to sign up for the 200km ride next year, to ride at least three times a week and to cover 2000km a year.

PHOTO: OCBC CYCLE


Mr Jason also wishes to encourage more of his friends to take up cycling and to inspire other heart attack survivors with his story.


“Cycling saved my life, I truly believe that. Even now, I tell my friends that cycling is important to keep your heart and mind healthy, hoping they will take up cycling as well.”


“I also hope that heart attack survivors who are in a similar position can benefit from exercising regularly combined with a good diet during their recovery journey.”


“Do not give up and stay the course of a healthy lifestyle. Live well and appreciate this second chance!”


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