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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-29-13, 04:29 AM   #1
Rowan
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Balance

It's something I've not really seen discussed, but I am interested to know how other people's sense of balance has changed over their periods of thin to overweight to thin again.

One of my personal "tests" is being able to put my socks and shoes on without have to sit down. It requires standing on one leg, and lifting up the other while bending over. If I am overbalancing for no other apparent reason, it's time to think about getting rid of some weight.

There are other factors involved, apart from what I think is a higher centre of gravity when the weight comes on. One is flexibility and another is muscle tone.

Has anyone else noticed these changes?
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Old 05-29-13, 06:00 AM   #2
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I weight in at 320 lbs, and I personnaly never had to sit down to put my socks on, or anything else actually.
When I think about it, I never noticed a difference in my balance as I was gaining weight...but that's just me
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Old 05-29-13, 06:06 AM   #3
ursle
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Flexibility is key, weight is relative
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Old 05-29-13, 12:38 PM   #4
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For me I have ballance issues but its pretty much the same reguardless of weight. I also been told core conditioning and did a program for over a year and yes it did help but by a very trivial amount. Guessing mine is more of a nero issue but I don't care cause I don't have any issues on the bike unless I need both hands to zip the raincoat, but thats mental (confidence & fear) as when I am in the zone my hands barely hold the bars unless im hammering for leverage.
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Old 05-29-13, 01:33 PM   #5
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When I got down to where I was ready to attempt a Triathlon, the skill you mention putting your shoes and socks on while standing is important. In transition you have no room or at least no time to sit and nothing stable to hold on to. I couldn't do it and had to practice to get that skill back. The more weight that came off the easier it became and now I never sit to put my shoes and socks on.
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Old 05-29-13, 01:39 PM   #6
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No matter how big I got, I always remained very flexible and can still pull my feet up to my chest, while standing. I've always had good balance. However, I've notice as I've gotten older, my balance has changed and I can be alittle unsteady on my feet especially after doing a hard ride or other exercise. Not an issue of weight but of age. So unfortunately lack of balance would not be motivation to lose weight but having to pull this great big caboose uphill is... I am so tired of being the last one on a climb!
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Old 05-29-13, 04:40 PM   #7
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This thread is interesting. I think maybe I have a different perspective, I've never had to stand up to put my socks/shoes on. I'm not so heavy that sitting on the ground and getting back up has been an issue. On the other hand, I'm never really in a place where there's not a chair and I need to put socks/shoes on. #firstworldproblem

I could see that being a problem for a triathlete. Guess that rules that out for me.
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Old 05-29-13, 04:46 PM   #8
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I've read that another reason that people have balance problems as they age is that nerve impulses slow down somewhat as the myelin sheaths deteriorate, meaning that it takes longer for the brain to handle the feedback processes involved in balancing.
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Old 06-03-13, 01:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
No matter how big I got, I always remained very flexible and can still pull my feet up to my chest, while standing. I've always had good balance. However, I've notice as I've gotten older, my balance has changed and I can be alittle unsteady on my feet especially after doing a hard ride or other exercise. Not an issue of weight but of age. So unfortunately lack of balance would not be motivation to lose weight but having to pull this great big caboose uphill is... I am so tired of being the last one on a climb!
Some interesting observations, Pam. The age one that you and Brian have picked up on may be a contributing factor.

However, I have come across this news article which suggests that balance is an issue with overweight people:

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/hea...-1226656352838

Perhaps someone who has put on weight gradually will compensate for the differences in sorting out balance, and their perception is that it hasn't changed.

Certainly, if someone who is overweight trips while walking, the recovery is not as easy as it is for someone who is thin. I would imagine it is a matter of simple physics that if the majority of weight is above the hip or even knee level, and the support area of the foot remains relatively unchanged, there are going to be balance issues arise.
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Old 06-03-13, 02:02 AM   #10
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My yoga instructor says that it is very important to practice balance poses because as we get older balance becomes a problem for many.

Weight has a very large impact on how we recover from a stumble. If you don't believe that just strap on a 50 lb pack and then practice a few stumble recoveries. You still have the same reaction time and you are not very much older from the time before putting on the pack but it is much harder to recover from a stumble. To carry this experiment a little farther put on ankle weights and wrist weight to simulate increased weight of the limbs.

I also think that added weight will not affect your static balance. What I mean is that if you are standing still you could stand there and be perfectly balanced as long as your legs would hold you up. There are plenty of obese yoga instructors that can hold balance poses that most skinny people would not be able to do.
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