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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

View Poll Results: What fitness activities do you do?
Answer as many as appropriate. Bicycling? 35 79.55%
Walking? 21 47.73%
Running/jogging? 11 25.00%
Aerobic machines? 12 27.27%
Light weight/strength training? 23 52.27%
Heavy weight/strength training? 10 22.73%
Regular stretching/flexibility? 15 34.09%
Programs such as yoga and tai chi? 8 18.18%
Nutrition? 24 54.55%
What the heck is "fitness?" 5 11.36%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-26-06, 08:06 AM   #1
DnvrFox
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50+'rs only - What is your Total Fitness Program?

The recent thread on "mileage to date" has also raised the question about fitness, aerobics and mileage.

I would like to explore what each of us do for "total fitness," which to me includes, as a minimum, aerobics, strength training, flexibility and good nutrition/body composition.

Please, let's not try to give a lot of advice or "judging" here, but simply share honestly what we each do (or don't do).

My program includes:

1. Aerobics - daily. I never let a day go by in which I do not have aerobics of some sort. It has become a psychological and physiological imperative for both my wife and myself. No aerobics, no decent sleep! While I prefer bicycling, I also do walking outside, treadmill inside, stair stepper and stationary DF bicycle.

2. Strength training. I do heavy strength training at least 3 x's a week. In fact, I get a bit edgy if I don't do this. I do several core strengthening exercises, upper body development such as bench press, dips, triceps kickbacks, rows, pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, flys, etc. I do a lot of overhead presses - it is my new favorite exercise.

3. Flexibility. This is my downfall. I recently attended a stretching class, and I liked it, and learned a lot of good stretches, but I don't really "enjoy" stretching. However, I am determined to fit this in also.

4. Nutrition/body composition. I do OK, but not great. We eat little red meat, eat a lot of fruit, and some veggies. We eat whole grains almost entirely (bread, rice, cereal) and nuts. My downfall is sweets - I love them. Again, this is one of my goals - decrease sweets. Ice cream is my real downfall! I always need to lose weight!

I and my wife failed Yoga, and I hate Yoga, so we cancelled that class. I think some bodies are destined for yoga and some aren't. Those with bodies designed for yoga love it (and think that everyone else should love it also), those who don't have yoga-designed bodies hate it or never try!

So, what are the rest of you doing?

Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-26-06 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 02-26-06, 09:42 AM   #2
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Oh man! I wish that you hadn't asked that.

Years past during the winter my wife and I were regular Spinners at the gym. This year the gym is expanding which ment temporarily eliminating their Spinning classes. The upshot is that I've gotten out of the rhythm of exercising regularly.
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Old 02-26-06, 10:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
50+'rs only - What is your Total Fitness Program?

I think some bodies are destined for yoga and some aren't. Those with bodies designed for yoga love it (and think that everyone else should love it also), those who don't have yoga-designed bodies hate it or never try!
No try, just do! Use the force!

Oh, yoGa! I thought you were talking about having a body like the little green guy from Star Wars.

As a lifelong YoGa practicer, I can tell you that it's a long term approach. If you don't "get it" the first time, that just means you're normal. If you stick with it, it becomes extremely useful, and even fun. One of the many benefits that I've enjoyed over the years is a lot fewer injuries, either from overuse or crashing. This is really important as we get older, as injuries can sideline us for a much longer time. An ounce of prevention and all that.

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Old 02-26-06, 10:34 AM   #4
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Honestly ?????? I'm trying real hard to stop doing ....... nothing.

A few months back I was feeling like crap one day and decided I should go get a bike. Well, that led into 5, but that's a whole 'nother thing for that money spending thread. Bottom line is I'm become a serious winter couch potato. In the summer I have an occupation that has me outside and putting on many miles on foot every week, climbing up and down stuff and lifting heavy things, but in the winter that stops and truth be known, so does most of the bike riding. I went and bought a stationary trainer for one of the bikes yesterday (got lucky, 30% off sale) and set the darn thing up in the living room. Sorry to say, ten minutes at a good cadence on that thing right now ....... well I did say I was out of shape

A half a dozen years ago, when I was still racing sprint cars, which takes a ton of upper body strength, I got into Tai kwon DO. I used to go twice a week for 2 hours, did that for about 2 years. Lot's of calestenics and stretching and of course the self defense training. Man, I was tough as nails then. I could drop down and give you 50 and if you wanted, I could clap my hands between between the last ten. Unfortunately, my hips are not built to be flexible enough for Tai Kwon Do and as you advance, every level requires more flexibility, so eventually I started getting sore and stiff enough that I gave it up.

Trouble is, for whatever reason, I won't do calestenics at home. In the class, I actually enjoyed them, but I suppose that's a competetive thing, trying to out do the guy next to you.

Wow, DnvrFox, where do you find the time for all you do???

Rik
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Old 02-26-06, 11:04 AM   #5
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I enjoy working out. I used to say, I work out so I can eat whatever I want. That is no longer true. Today, I have to watch what I eat as well. I also have to work out strategically. I have disc problems in my back. I've already had a double spinal fusion, and I need two more, but I'm trying to hold out for something called a ProDisc, it's an artificial disc implant that's been available in Europe for years, but the FDA has yet to release in the US. This all makes staying fit a real challenge.
For me walking is limited: after 15 minutes my arms go numb.
Yoga, which I love, has been reduced to only a few simple postures.
I can do some weight training, mostly machines that don't put direct downward pressure on my spine.
I do aerobics training in the gym: spinning and elliptical training (no pounding).
I also have to stretch regularly, often a couple of times a day, to keep from getting back and leg spasms.
I used to be a runner, but had to completely stop that about 3 or 4 years ago.
But, about a year ago, I dug my old bike out of the closet and discovered that I can ride my ass off with relatively little pain. It hurts to get on the bike, and it hurts to get off the bike, but while I'm riding I can go like a wild man.
So that's what I'm doing today. So far I've lost about 12 pounds, and looking forward to seeing 180 again.
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Old 02-26-06, 11:32 AM   #6
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The only thing I try to do is ride. Don't walk. I hate it so much I refuse to walk uphill- no matter how steep. If its that steep I find a detour. Don't jog thanks to a knee injury of many years ago and a surfeit of training that finally finished off the knees. Don't enjoy the gym as I hate doing all that exercise and going nowheere but If I can't ride then this is secondbest and I do go there.

If I have a particular problem on a muscle group, then I will go to the gym to get that improved but I class that as medical. Diet- I eat what I like but do go a biot steady on the fatty foods and sugars- then I can have a Full english Breakfast on the Sunday rides and a couple of sticky buns on the others.

No I do not have a fitness program, but I do have a hard taskmaster in my wife who enjoys her time at home while I am on the bike rides.
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Old 02-26-06, 01:10 PM   #7
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Dnvr, Like you I lift twice weekly, however, I do not lift heavy. I also play racquetball once weekly for 1 hour-year round. (a wonderful workout). In the summer I usually try to get out on the bike 3-4 times weekly, and wintertime I ride when the weather permits. Usually my diet consists of cookies, ice cream and of course pie. However, I am cutting down on the sugars and for the most part eat pie only when I earn it.
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Old 02-26-06, 04:57 PM   #8
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I see I am not alone in my non-stretching endeavors (only 3 of 19 stretch)! That is most interesting.

What is it about stretching, anyway? Does it seem - on its face - non productive or not a beneficial way to spend time, when one might be riding?

I also notice that 13 of 19 repondents consider nutrition to be a part of their fitness program.

Okay, so we eat right but are inflexible!
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Old 02-26-06, 08:30 PM   #9
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Road biking: varies widely; 10-50 miles = 15 to 80 km per week.
Jog: At least 20 miles = 32 km per week.
Light-to-moderate weightlifting: one major, 3 minor sessions per week
Nutrition: vegetarian plus some fish; moderately low fat

Stretching: Currently battling chronic Achilles tendinitis and becoming a believer. Quad stretches (pull heel up to buttocks) have greatly helped rehab. my twice-dislocated left knee.
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Old 02-26-06, 09:37 PM   #10
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Interesting!!

Only 21 of 25 responders (so far) checked "bicycling" as one of their fitness activities on a bicycle forum.

Am I missing something here?

[EDIT] - I figured it out. It is those 3 responders who don't know what "fitness" is and likely one kibitzer from the under 50 crowd.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-26-06 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 02-26-06, 09:42 PM   #11
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The all-round approach is mine.

Swim: 3 times a week at lunch. 1 mile+ each time.

Road Bike: 2 weekend days each week in winter. 3-4 days a week in summer or more. (MTB in really trashy weather)

Running: 3 times a week. Regular route is 4.2 miles at 8:30 pace. Longer runs occassionally.

I also enter races of one sort or another a couple of times a month for fun and training.

Sunday afternoon still sees the frequent pick-up soccer game. I'm 55 and still have knees enough to play against all odds!

This may sound like a lot, but really this stuff doesn't dominate my life. It fits in fairly easily with an easy going wife and a very full-time job and the various civic duties that one acquires living in a small rural community.

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Old 02-27-06, 01:01 AM   #12
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I ride EVERY day, both utility and recreational, on and off road. I ride an average of 100 minutes a day in the summer and 65 minutes in the winter. I don't race or ride with a club.

I walk or hike at least once a week. I row in a real boat in the summer. I lift heavy free weights 2 to 3 times a week, multiple joint exercises similar to the OP. Also like DnvrFox, I hate stretching, but I just started doing some new floor exercises that are supposed to improve flexibility, joint stability and core strength.

I eat good nutritious food, but too much of it. I've lost 36 pounds since July with 25 more to go. One thing that's really helped me is keeping a journal of exercise and diet. I also set fitness goals, long and short term.
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Old 02-27-06, 06:13 AM   #13
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I didn't pick a poll answer, but here's my fitness regimen:
Ride lots (commute most days, plus a mountain bike ride once or twice a week, and a road bike once or twice a week plus the occasional mtb race)4000km last year (an off year)

Play ice hockey 2 or 3 times a week, ball hockey once or twice a week. (Replaced by canoeing in the summer)

I don't run - I don't like it and have a wonky ankle that is aggravated by running (but seems to work fine for ball hockey - maybe it's all in my head?)

I would do a little weight lifting, but one of the kids moved out and took them with him - haven't replaced them yet.

I tried other stuff over the years, but biking and hockey were the only things that worked, so that's what I do
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Old 02-27-06, 07:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinerider
I didn't pick a poll answer, but here's my fitness regimen:
Ride lots (commute most days, plus a mountain bike ride once or twice a week, and a road bike once or twice a week plus the occasional mtb race)4000km last year (an off year)

Play ice hockey 2 or 3 times a week, ball hockey once or twice a week. (Replaced by canoeing in the summer)

I don't run - I don't like it and have a wonky ankle that is aggravated by running (but seems to work fine for ball hockey - maybe it's all in my head?)

I would do a little weight lifting, but one of the kids moved out and took them with him - haven't replaced them yet.

I tried other stuff over the years, but biking and hockey were the only things that worked, so that's what I do
Oh go ahead - choose some answers!

Thanks for your and everyone's responses! This has been interesting to me. I hope it has been interesting to others. I had a few surprises!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 02-27-06 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 03-01-06, 04:52 AM   #15
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3. Flexibility. This is my downfall. I recently attended a stretching class, and I liked it, and learned a lot of good stretches, but I don't really "enjoy" stretching. However, I am determined to fit this in also.
Mine as well. Share the goods - what did you learn in your class? I'm a wee 40 year old, but I've never been keen on stretching. I can't get away with that much longer.

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Old 03-01-06, 05:54 AM   #16
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Mine as well. Share the goods - what did you learn in your class? I'm a wee 40 year old, but I've never been keen on stretching. I can't get away with that much longer.

Paul
We got a booklet with a variety of stretches and then we practiced each stretch. There are a number of them and they are not in a form that I can easily reproduce here.

One of the things that I have found about stretching is that everyone says to do it, but no one really shows you how, what or when in an understandable way.

At least now, I know how and why. My next goal is to implement them in my daily life. The complete series of stretches takes about 25 minutes daily, although they say it can be done more quickly.

I use one of those huge soft balls and a towel and a wall/corner to assist in the stretching.

I guess I will start today again! I actually felt better when I was stretching. A matter of time and effort.
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Old 03-01-06, 05:57 AM   #17
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I started serious biking on 02 Dec 2005 with my 22 mile commute. I found out the hard way how weak I was. I now have the commute under control and discovered my arms, shoulders and back were being neglected. I started using some light weights and was amazed at the immediate response.

I do some stretching, but not as much as I should.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:12 AM   #18
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My local bike shop guy gave me a tip the other day as I whined about my hand feeling a bit numb when I tried out a road bike. He suggested getting one of those squeeze balls from a sporting goods store and really giving my hands a workout every day with it. He said the cause of numbness in the hands can be poor circulation, caused by, ahem, aging, and that the squeeze ball would help alleviate that.

Anyone using one of these who would confirm this claim?
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