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  1. #1
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    Health, Fitness question

    This is not a question of competition but a general health question.
    I met a biker on a custom build and fitted Pereira road bike. He pedaled furiously to keep up with me but I noticed that every few minutes he stopped pedaling. He volunteered that he has developed some kind of disorder which caused that. I did not ask questions. He also volunteered that he was 70 years old. We were cruising along at about 17 MPH on flat trail. This conversation raised my awareness to that issue.

    Next day I was biking with a 43 year old man. This guy also could not maintain a steady cadence at 15 MPH on flat for more that 5 minutes if that. I asked if he was OK. He said that that is all he could do.

    My question to this 50+ group is this: At what point do we think that there is a underlying health issue?
    For instance: I believe that most healthy people can walk 4 MPH on flat ground for one hour. No stopping.
    I know many non athletic people who do that. How does that compare to spinning a bike?

    BTW: The 43 year old smokes. I have a personal interest in this.
    Thanks for any feedback. Does anyone know research on this?
    Last edited by will dehne; 04-15-07 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, but I was walking with my sister, who smokes, awhile back. We got to a fairly steep hill. After five minutes she was readly to turn back.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    This is not a question of competition but a general health question.
    I me a biker on a custom build and fitted Pereira road bike. He pedaled furiously to keep up with me but I noticed that every few minutes he stopped pedaling. He volunteered that he has developed some kind of disorder which caused that. I did not ask questions. He also volunteered that he was 70 years old. We were cruising along at about 17 MPH on flat trail. This conversation raised my awareness to that issue.

    Next day I was biking with a 43 year old man. This guy also could not maintain a steady cadence at 15 MPH on flat for more that 5 minutes if that. I asked if he was OK. He said that that is all he could do.

    My question to this 50+ group is this: At what point do we think that there is a underlying health issue?
    For instance: I believe that most healthy people can walk 4 MPH on flat ground for one hour. No stopping.
    I know many non athletic people who do that. How does that compare to spinning a bike?

    BTW: The 43 year old smokes. I have a personal interest in this.
    Thanks for any feedback. Does anyone know research on this?
    I think that sometimes it is simply a habit. Folks psych themselves out so that they give up at a certain time. Also, maybe the guy should be doing 15 or 16 mph to keep a steady cadence. Maybe he just isn't quite in shape.

    I have a guy on our local trail system who is about 75, and he beats my butt all over the place, so it isn't just age. I ride with another guy, 72, who pushes me pretty hard.

    But, at 67yo, I have no problem maintaining a steady cadence for a long period of time. However, if you ask me to go much above a certain power output, I would need to regroup now and then.

    Certainly smoking would be a factor.

    http://thescooponsmoking.org/xhtml/e...dEndurance.php
    decreased endurance

    the bottom line

    Smoking hurts physical fitness -- even among people who are physically active and generally in good shape. The type of fitness that is most affected by smoking is endurance.

    If you play sports, especially sports where endurance is important, such as soccer or basketball, you won't play as well if you smoke.


    explanation

    Smoking hurts physical fitness -- even among people who are physically active and generally in good shape. Scientists know that this is true because they have investigated the relationship between smoking and physical fitness in young people who are in the armed services. Many of these soldiers and sailors are only a few years older than you are right now, and most of them are in good physical condition -- except for their smoking habits.

    Among a group of 19-year-old male army recruits in Switzerland, the distance that the recruits could cover in a 12-minute run was lower for smokers than for nonsmokers. Even men who were light smokers and those who had been smoking for less than 2 years didn't do as well as the nonsmokers did in this running test. In a group of British soldiers, physical fitness didn't improve as much in smokers as in nonsmokers after a six-month training program. A study of U.S. soldiers in basic training has shown that the differences in fitness between smokers and nonsmokers are large enough to be of practical importance. In this group of soldiers, those who smoked were less likely than the others to successfully complete basic training.

    The type of fitness that is most affected by smoking is endurance. Physical fitness tests of more than 3,000 sailors in the U.S. Navy showed that smoking was associated with lower physical endurance but not with a reduction in physical strength. It makes sense that smoking would decrease a person's endurance because a healthy heart and lungs are needed for maximum endurance, and smoking is harmful to both the heart and the lungs.

    If you play sports, especially sports where endurance is important, such as soccer or basketball, you won't play as well if you smoke. Smart athletes know this. Smoking rates among high school students who play interscholastic sports are much lower than those of non-athletes of the same ages.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-15-07 at 06:53 AM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    This is not a question of competition but a general health question.
    I me a biker on a custom build and fitted Pereira road bike. He pedaled furiously to keep up with me but I noticed that every few minutes he stopped pedaling. He volunteered that he has developed some kind of disorder which caused that. I did not ask questions. He also volunteered that he was 70 years old. We were cruising along at about 17 MPH on flat trail. This conversation raised my awareness to that issue.

    Next day I was biking with a 43 year old man. This guy also could not maintain a steady cadence at 15 MPH on flat for more that 5 minutes if that. I asked if he was OK. He said that that is all he could do.

    My question to this 50+ group is this: At what point do we think that there is a underlying health issue?
    For instance: I believe that most healthy people can walk 4 MPH on flat ground for one hour. No stopping.
    I know many non athletic people who do that. How does that compare to spinning a bike?

    BTW: The 43 year old smokes. I have a personal interest in this.
    Thanks for any feedback. Does anyone know research on this?
    4 MPH with these short legs? But I can manage 3.5 MPH easily.

    Smoking is probably a big factor with the 43 year old. Spinning and walking engage different muscles and I know at the beginning of the cycling season it takes me a couple weeks to re-condition those muscles. Until that time I can really feel the burn in the legs and need to rest a little more than usual. Could this be the problem with the riders?
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    DnvrFox-Thank you for you reply. I will forward it to the 43 year old and hope it will do some good. All we can do is try our best, right? I think you know who this 43 year old is.
    Denver, you seem to be well informed on these health issues.
    Let us say we put an 43 year old on a trainer, assume he/she is healthy, (other than smoking), should such a person be able to spin for one hour? Do you know of any such data?
    My wife of 65, who is no athlete, can do it. If 15 MPH is too much, how about 12 MPH? Where is the low limit where a doctor says something is wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly
    4 MPH with these short legs? But I can manage 3.5 MPH easily.

    Smoking is probably a big factor with the 43 year old. Spinning and walking engage different muscles and I know at the beginning of the cycling season it takes me a couple weeks to re-condition those muscles. Until that time I can really feel the burn in the legs and need to rest a little more than usual. Could this be the problem with the riders?
    Yeah, that is what my wife says. She is 5 ft 5" and can keep up with me for one hour and then she runs out of gas. For one hour she can go as fast as I do but at least 1.5 steps for each one of my.
    Life is not fair.

  7. #7
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    I have been physically fit for most of my life. Started cycling 17 years ago but in the past few years I have had a few medical scares. Got over them and to be honest- all I could think of was getting back to biking. Not that I love biking that much but I do value the Fitness that biking has given me and if I stopped Biking- I would not do much to keep myself fit.

    I Currently have another minor problem and it does occur after physical exercise. Not just biking - it can occur after a gym session aswell. I saw the consultant and my one dread was that he would stop me cycling. He categorically stated that it is not cycling that is causing the problem. He doesn't know what it is yet but plenty of tests and Visits to undergo yet.

    To be honest- If he told me to give up biking it would be a problem. It is not a life threatening problem- it is painful and awkward when it occurs and until it is diagnosed- it is also a mental worry. It is not serious but if it was cycling causing the problem- I would find a way round the problem to keep me riding. Don't know how I would do it but I would.

    I think most of the effort someone puts in on exercise is mental- I have the will to push myself most of the time and take my rests as they come on a ride- but there is no way I am a sprint or even fast rider. I have stamina though and that has been proved on some of the rides I do. Then today I went out with some Older riders. They did not disgrace themselves and they made me work up the hills. I got fed up with the low speed on the flat though. If I were to just to judge on their riding pace- they were slow, but after I had pushed up one hill- HR Right up and still recovering to have all 3 of them catch me at the top within 30 seconds- and they were not out of breath. Then they told me that they used to be able to go up hills like I did- but why bother? We still have another 6 hills to go. They were aged 68-74 and 75 and were not on lightweight bikes.
    Last edited by stapfam; 04-15-07 at 12:57 PM.
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    The 43 year old smoker probably has a symptom called "intermittent claudication" that is caused by narrowing of the arteries in the legs - peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The narrowing is caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and it is a result of smoking for many years. It is the same as angina but in the legs. When someone who gets angina (pain in the heart) during exercise then stops exercising the pain disappears. Intermittent claudication responds to rest in the same way. That is why the 43 year old cyclist stops pedling every so often as this allows his muscles to re-oxygenate through very narrow arteries. If he stops smoking and continue exercising he should be able to reverse the condition to a certain extent - assuming that he has PAD of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Spice
    The 43 year old smoker probably has a symptom called "intermittent claudication" that is caused by narrowing of the arteries in the legs - peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The narrowing is caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and it is a result of smoking for many years. It is the same as angina but in the legs. When someone who gets angina (pain in the heart) during exercise then stops exercising the pain disappears. Intermittent claudication responds to rest in the same way. That is why the 43 year old cyclist stops pedling every so often as this allows his muscles to re-oxygenate through very narrow arteries. If he stops smoking and continue exercising he should be able to reverse the condition to a certain extent - assuming that he has PAD of course.
    This is very scary and substantiates my worse fears. We all know smoking is bad. This, if true, will be the first symptoms of worse to follow. I wish they would outlaw this poison.
    Thank you for your effort to post this.

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    I have my share of bad habits. I'd be in better overall condition if I could stop eating stuff that tastes so good to me. I'd be in better condition if I spent less time reading these boards and more time on my bike (although I ride daily). I'd probably be better off giving up my love of 100-proof single malt Scotch (mmm).

    But, I count my blessings over an over when I consider that, in spite of my efforts to master the habit, my once young body absolutely rebelled and refused to cooperate when I first tried to start smoking. I could not do it. My finger nails would turn purple and I would get sick to the point of almost passing out.

    To this day, I love the second-hand scent of a good (or even not so good) cigar. When I am with a group of guys, I will even light one up and puff on it - the act (other than the smoke and the "juice" that collects in your mouth) feels good, and, as previously mentioned, I love the aroma.

    But, truth be told, I cannot smoke 'em.

    I get sick - even when I don't inhale. I don't know what it is, but, I really feel quite lucky.

    I am free of any of the symptoms mentioned above - not by my own virtue, but by the grace of God alone.

    Sometimes things just work out.

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  11. #11
    Get A Life - Get A Bike cheeseflavor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Next day I was biking with a 43 year old man. This guy also could not maintain a steady cadence at 15 MPH on flat for more that 5 minutes if that. I asked if he was OK. He said that that is all he could do.

    My question to this 50+ group is this: At what point do we think that there is a underlying health issue?
    Will, just a thought...

    I know people (cyclists) that are healthy, but don't really *care* to spin continuously. Some folks just don't have the mindset to work hard when participating in something recreational. The folks I'm talking about are from our local club that ride 100-150 (or more) miles per week, but they are essentially slackers on the bike. They'll slow to a crawl on hills and on the flats are content to ride happily along at 15-17mph and coast down hills.

    Are these folks you mention winded when they're riding or walking? Can you tell they're trying?

    Steve

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    I suppose this discussion is a good argument for checking one's pulse periodically whilst exercising or for riding with a challenging group. It is pretty easy to slip into a nice, easy cadence, in which one is getting only part of the benefit of a full aerobic workout.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Even two years ago I got winded walking up the hill I affectionally have named the Matterhorn on one of our properties - now I could run it without difficulty. I was what I thought was reasonably active - now I am very active.

    Face it, when we aren't riding but just driving to work and back everyday with the biggest excercise being finding the remote - we are barely alive.

    I have frequent visitors to the fincas - they are warned about me by the office staff - who then try to get me to take it easy on them. I warn people that they will not keep up and will have to let me know - they don't believe it - until the first hill.

    Part is the climate - only mad dogs, englishmen and cyclist go out in the tropical noon day sun. And farm laborers. The average person in the USA isn't just overweight - they are dreadfully out of shape - and no, round is not the shape I am referring to.

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    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Are we talking Physical or Mental?

    My lovely wife knows how crazy I am about biking.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

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    Hello guys:
    I have been posting at Training and Nutrition. This 43 year old happens to be my son and I was getting more than concerned. The younger crowd at the T&N forum thinks that I am too demanding and should back off. I have been accused of that before and I think I will take that advise.
    I cannot make my son stop smoking. I lost that battle a long time ago. Other major concerns took precedence. I am sure you know what I mean.
    I thank all of you for your advise. All we can do is our best.
    I really do hate the poison distributed by these ruthless companies.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Hello guys:
    I have been posting at Training and Nutrition. This 43 year old happens to be my son and I was getting more than concerned. The younger crowd at the T&N forum thinks that I am too demanding and should back off. I have been accused of that before and I think I will take that advise.
    I cannot make my son stop smoking. I lost that battle a long time ago. Other major concerns took precedence. I am sure you know what I mean.
    I thank all of you for your advise. All we can do is our best.
    I really do hate the poison distributed by these ruthless companies.
    I know how frustrating this situation is for a parent. I just want to grab my youngest daughter (age 41) and shake some sense into her head but I learned a long time ago it's best to keep quiet. She has health problems related to smoking and obesity but nothing I say will ever convince her there is any link between the health problems and her lifestyle choices
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    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly
    ...but nothing I say will ever convince her there is any link between the health problems and her lifestyle choices
    my wife isn't a smoker nor obese but she is very inactive, altho she is an RN, she does not relate tiredness, lack of energy, insomnia, stress, headaches, joint pain, digestion etc to her lack of fitness. Because her BP, cholesterol, and other numbers are acceptable she sees no substantial reason to exercise. After 20 years of marriage I don't nag, after all she knows a LOT more about health and medicine than me!?! The treadmill, Pilates machine, rower, stationary bike and many other contraptions are unused by her. Any level of exersion makes her sore so she never pushes through the initial pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crtreedude
    Even two years ago I got winded walking up the hill I affectionally have named the Matterhorn on one of our properties - now I could run it without difficulty. I was what I thought was reasonably active - now I am very active.

    Face it, when we aren't riding but just driving to work and back everyday with the biggest excercise being finding the remote - we are barely alive.

    I have frequent visitors to the fincas - they are warned about me by the office staff - who then try to get me to take it easy on them. I warn people that they will not keep up and will have to let me know - they don't believe it - until the first hill.

    Part is the climate - only mad dogs, englishmen and cyclist go out in the tropical noon day sun. And farm laborers. The average person in the USA isn't just overweight - they are dreadfully out of shape - and no, round is not the shape I am referring to.
    I had to spend several hours in an airport this week and many if not most Americans are fat. Would have to assume that they are also out of shape.

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    Hello guys again:
    I have to contribute this report. I traveled this week to Detroit and sat next to a man (definitely American)who was not easy to ignore. He looked like Mike Douglas look alike (movie Wall-street). We got to talk. He is an Investment Banker. In fact he own the place. He travels all over the world all the time. He looked 40 but confessed to be 50. We exchanged stories as our lifestyle. You know my, biking. He plays ball games such as tennis, handball, paddle ball. He looked extremely fit. His secret? He uses a Nutritionist to organize his food. No alcohol, coffee, bread, sugars, nicotine. He said to me: "You are what you eat". The man was full of energy and he was on a murderous schedule of business travel with tight scheduled meetings.

    I took note of all this. I will have a eventful meeting soon to decide what to do with the company I started and managed for 25 years. I am preparing for that meeting by biking 500 miles this week and dropping over 10 lbs. I let you guys know if that worked.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood
    my wife isn't a smoker nor obese but she is very inactive, altho she is an RN, she does not relate tiredness, lack of energy, insomnia, stress, headaches, joint pain, digestion etc to her lack of fitness. Because her BP, cholesterol, and other numbers are acceptable she sees no substantial reason to exercise. After 20 years of marriage I don't nag, after all she knows a LOT more about health and medicine than me!?! The treadmill, Pilates machine, rower, stationary bike and many other contraptions are unused by her. Any level of exersion makes her sore so she never pushes through the initial pain.
    I feel your pain. Jack LaLane once said that more marriages break up due to differences in energy levels than anything else.

    That was certainly true of my first marriage (which lasted 15 years). About 5 years before our breakup, I had taken a hard look in the mirror and decided I didn't like what I saw. I was getting overweight, was out of shape, and had recently fallen off the nicotine wagon. So, to get myself healthy, I purchased a low-end mountain bike...and the rest, as they say, is history.

    As I got more and more fit, and directed my natural compulsive tendencies towards health and fitness, the differences in our energy levels became dramatically clear. For the last Mother's Day/Father's Day that we were together, she got a nice patio lounge chair, and I got a backpack that I used on a mountain climb of our local Mt. Shasta (14,150 ft).

    It was a hard decision to leave, given our two kids, but it was absolutely the best decision (there were other reasons for the breakup, including her "anger management" issues). Not saying that's the right decision for you, but since our breakup, my sex life has improved significantly, and I date mostly fit, athletic women.


    BTW - what is it about health care workers? Especially nurses? They're some of the least fit folks around!?
    Last edited by SSP; 04-19-07 at 07:29 PM.
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  21. #21
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    My question to this 50+ group is this: At what point do we think that there is a underlying health issue?
    I can't tell about the 70 year old, it sounds as though he is aware of it and that it is a new development.

    A lot of it may be that the cyclist's brain has not sync'd up with his lungs and muscles to attain a visceral understanding of what his optimum rate is. The legs don't know how fast they can go without over taxing the cardio.

    When I have stopped cycling for a while and come back to it, that's always something I have to learn over. I never have problems with weak legs, but they sure forget how much oxygen they need to work. So I tend to overdo it and then rest then overdo it till I learn again.

    But then again, I'm a good coaster. I'm not racing, so in general I don't feel compelled to pedal at my max.

  22. #22
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Will,

    Unless the people in question have seen a doctor and you know their condition, it's hard to say what's causing their inability to maintain cadence.

    But lots of folks can't even climb a flight of stairs, even if they don't smoke. And I know of cyclists who smoke, and still ride.

    If you know these people, and their doctor approves, give them time to develop their fitness. It may come, in time, smoking or no.

    I knew a 70+ woman whose doctor counselled her to exercise. She started a swimming regimen, and it helped her. But the smoking thing was hard to change, though she was able to cut back quite a bit.

    If someone smokes, they shouldn't wait until they quit to begin exercising. Otherwise, they may never start. IMO.

    And yet, one should always see a doctor before they start an exericise program if there is any question of coronary artery disease.
    No worries

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    Today is the day that my son says he will quit smoking. It is not just the biking, he and his significant other have decided to marry and produce a baby. So who knows, perhaps it all will work out well.
    His mother is praying to the V. Mary for his strength and I look for help from providence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Today is the day that my son says he will quit smoking. It is not just the biking, he and his significant other have decided to marry and produce a baby. So who knows, perhaps it all will work out well.
    His mother is praying to the V. Mary for his strength and I look for help from providence.
    Keep the faith. The love for your son will prevail.

    The good news is that the body starts healing almost immediately after stopping smoking.
    No worries

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    Hi guys. The following letter is from my son. It is uplifting to me and as a way to thank you guys for your contribution:

    "I had a good weekend: 50 miles in 3 hrs ...........................

    I'm pretty happy with my progress. Yesterday, I was dropping guys right and left. None dropped me, but I write that off to it still being early, or timing (no fast guys going my way at same time). I saw plenty of guys going the other way that looked pretty formidable. I doubt that I could've dropped them.

    For now, I'm thinking that I should ride to work 3 of 5 days, plus Saturday if applicable. Then, maybe later this spring, I will try pure commuting.

    Gosh, I hate to jump the ***, but it feels like there are not going to be any long-term side-effects from all those yrs of smoking. However, I believe that I pushed it about as far as a human can. (Of course, that is my style.) Nonetheless, I do not know how much time I had before my first heart-attack, but I would bet the farm that it was less than two years. Oh well, all behind me now."

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