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Old 10-22-06, 07:04 AM   #1
jppe
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Today's Ramblings

Motivation for riding has waned for now....probably just natural after all the long butt busting rides and time spent on putting on the nine Time Trials the past 6 months. Probably time for some mental breaks so attention has diverted to golf. I seem to enjoy the 30-40 mile rides for now. Plus it's easier to squeeze those in on "breaks" from work during the day or beat the setting sun.

I did participate in a local fund-raiser metric century yesterday. Unfortunately the turnout was pitifully low. Very disappointing for the organizers but probably not totally unexpected given the location and the fact it started at 8:00 in pretty chilly temps. Essentially 7 of us rode the route together......we sat up when we wanted to, hammered some, waited at stopping points to regroup, etc. I have converted my Madone to it's "winter set-up" with heavier wheels and tires and rode it. We had 4 really good hills back to back and I was suffering on my 53/39 with all the heavy stuff!!! It's a really good "training" setup that hopefully will help me next spring. My heart rate was in the red zone for a LONG time. It's amazing how quickly fitness can change.

It was also interesting about how much fun I had one I made myself go out and ride. While there were times I struggled I also got my second wind and pulled and sprinted, closed gaps and felt really good overall.

Question: Does the body's metabolism continue to decrease the older we get? The forty's were particularly hard on me.....I probably put on 40 pounds from age 44-48 which have been removed by cycling and improved eating habits. Since I've decreased the longer rides my weight is starting to creep up. I know it's about calories in versus calories out but just wondering if the body burns less calories the older we get........I love to eat and I'm wondering if I'm going to need to think about adjusting my intake more over time. Does anyone know for sure?
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Old 10-22-06, 08:38 AM   #2
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Although I'm no expert in human biology,(don't play one on TV, either), I think it is pretty well excepted that our metabolism goes down as we age. I think that is why it is so hard to maintain a certain level of conditioning without an increasing level of exercise, whether aerobic or weight training. At 51, it is increasingly difficult to maintain my present weight and fitness, even by eating more wisely, riding 60-80 miles a week, walking with my wife, and doing my job, which is fairly physical itself( I'm a farmer).

This winter, I will probably add swimming back to the exercise mix, two nights a week. I did this several years ago in addition to my other activities and it really helps overall body condition. Low impact, too.
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Old 10-22-06, 09:30 AM   #3
will dehne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
Question: Does the body's metabolism continue to decrease the older we get? The forty's were particularly hard on me.....I probably put on 40 pounds from age 44-48 which have been removed by cycling and improved eating habits. Since I've decreased the longer rides my weight is starting to creep up. I know it's about calories in versus calories out but just wondering if the body burns less calories the older we get........I love to eat and I'm wondering if I'm going to need to think about adjusting my intake more over time. Does anyone know for sure?
I did not make a scientific study of this subject but can share these observations:
I know people who do not exercise, eat normal, and do not put on weight. These people are in their 50's. That is metabolism because I will gain if I do not exercise.
My eating habits are health oriented. I eat almost no junk food and especially no fried food and little or no processed food.
So, it is all energy in to energy out for me,---------regardless---------------of my age.
Metabolism does matter a lot. I do not know if metabolism changes for a given person with age or other factors. I suspect it does.
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Old 10-22-06, 11:05 AM   #4
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Maybe so. No matter how much I've ridden over the years, I find myself at 59 with love handles that have relentlessly been growing for years like coral. Controlled eating, lotsa miles, the Marine Corps. even, nothing seems able to stop their merciless growth. But, OTOH, all the organs are working fine. I agree, from my own experience, that a given amount of time off brings on quicker losses (and harder returns-to-fitness) than in my 40's or even early 50's. I fear it will only get worse. The saving grace is that age does bring a greater sense of self-humor to make thing a bit "easier". Also, more determination. The older the tree, the harder the effort?
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Old 10-22-06, 11:09 AM   #5
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This morning, I was reading about resistance exercise (I have concerns that I am not doing enough of it, my bad back so limits what I can do). One article pointed out that the natural muscle mass loss, that starts at about age 30 and continues for the rest of your life, is thought to be a major contributor to the metabolism slow-down that happens to people as they age. It was pointed out that exercise that adds muscle mass gives metablism a major boost. In my own case, early on, I noticed that my cycling, even though it is endurance exercise (and I was doing no resistance exercise), did the same for my metabolism.

This article also mentioned that resistance exercise, while not being as good for fat loss as endurance exercise, did help fat loss in an indirect way: by adding muscle mass. Muscles require calories to maintain, therefore more muscles let you eat more, without adding fat. That was something I hadn't thought of, or read, before.

When I started cycling, 25 months ago at a weight of 215 lbs, one of my major goals was to get my weight below 190 lbs. I never quite made it, only dropping to 204 lbs until I also made major changes in my diet, then dropping to 191 lbs in July of 2005, and maintaining that weight until November of that year. With only a slight lessoning of riding miles last winter, I added 5 pounds. Obviously, even a slight drop in riding mileage is going to add weight to me, this in spite of the fact that I have made more healthy improvements to my diet. It took me until last month to get down to 191 lbs again, and I am presently at 192 lbs (I weigh each day, and average for each week).

Up until just over 3 years ago, it was nicotine that did such a good job of keeping my weight down. I'm not going back to that, so I can tell that I'm really going to have to stay on top of the weight battle to keep mine down. Hernia surgery, scheduled for next January, will cut my activity level for a while, and be my next great challenge for keeping my weight down.

I'm not sure how much science you can read into it, but I really get the feeling that keeping weight off as we age gets more difficult (for most of us, me included), and because exercise increases appetite, diet improvements, along with exercise, are needed. I still eat pie, but it's healthier pie (whole grain, no refined sugar, less fat) than it used to be.
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Old 10-22-06, 11:16 AM   #6
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You guys in your fifties - just wait until you hit your mid 60's! (And I suppose 70's are even worse.)

You've got it easy now.

Incidentally, that muscles use more calories than fat is a recognized and frequently discussed phenomenon and benefit of resistance exercising.
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Old 10-22-06, 12:28 PM   #7
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I'm experiencing the same thing at age 64. This has been my lowest mileage season since I began serious cycling, and the extra weight is becoming a concern. Early November should find me begining my training for '07, and hopefully finding some motivation.
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Old 10-22-06, 12:52 PM   #8
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All my Older friends still active say 72 to 74 is the REAL turning point.

I laid off a week, and it was difficult to get back to condition I did my tri Oct 1st. I'm not even close.

Rode this am, 15 miles, 38 degrees, wind 15mph. Still felt good, but really good after I got home. GRIN.
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