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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.

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Old 03-19-10, 10:38 AM   #1
DnvrFox
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Elements of Fitness - 50+ (or any other age, for that matter)

There has been a recent discussion of fitness and a bit about what fitness means.

From what I have learned - traditional fitness includes the following:
  • Cardio-vascular/Aerobic Fitness (endurance)
  • Muscular Strength
  • Body Composition (fat/lean)
  • Flexibility
And I would add some non-traditional ones
  • Bone/ligament/tendon fitness - can be improved through appropriate activities.
  • Mental health fitness
  • Financial fitness
  • Social fitness
  • Spiritual fitness
The traditional one most often ignored in the bicycling world in my opinion is muscular strength - partucularly upper body - something that decreases year-after year after about 35 years old or so, if left unattended, but almost completely avoidable with appropriate activities. Muscular fitness also interacts with bone fitness in that exercises often used to strengthen can also help with osteoporosis prevention. Some believe that osteoporosis may be associated with bicycling. Controversial, but there are several studies pointing in that direction.

And your thoughts on "fitness?"

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Old 03-19-10, 11:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
There has been a recent discussion of fitness and a bit about what fitness means.

...

Some believe that osteoporosis may be associated with bicycling. Controversial, but there are several studies pointing in that direction.
I would generalize this further by blaming the lack of weight-bearing exercise. Walking/"jogging"/running is a good way to help mitigate this if your connective tissues and joints can handle it. I find trail running is the easiest on my knees--easier than treadmill, imho.
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Old 03-19-10, 11:47 AM   #3
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Is there a difference between fitness and functional ability related to a specific activity or set of activities?
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Old 03-19-10, 11:52 AM   #4
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Is there a difference between fitness and functional ability related to a specific activity or set of activities?
I wouild ponder that fitness would allow you to participate in a better way in activities that are not-specific. I.e., if you are fit mostly for bicycling, you might be "bicycle fit" but not "fast-walking" fit. General fitness would - hopefully - accomplish both ends. However, it is much too early in the day for me to work my mind around such niceties, and likely even at the end of the day I won't be much better!!
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Old 03-19-10, 02:33 PM   #5
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Fitness as compared to what? Unless a pine box is being measured for you it is all relative.
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Old 03-19-10, 03:20 PM   #6
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Fitness as compared to what? Unless a pine box is being measured for you it is all relative.
For me, it's fitness compared to me. How I feel I am compared to how I want to be.

What's wrong with relative?

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Old 03-19-10, 03:44 PM   #7
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Fitness as compared to what? Unless a pine box is being measured for you it is all relative.
They haven't used pine boxes for a long time, now it's exotic woods and fine silks, it's hard to actually bury someone for less then $10,000 now....
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Old 03-19-10, 04:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
There has been a recent discussion of fitness and a bit about what fitness means.

From what I have learned - traditional fitness includes the following:
  • Cardio-vascular/Aerobic Fitness (endurance)
  • Muscular Strength
  • Body Composition (fat/lean)
  • Flexibility
And I would add some non-traditional ones
  • Bone/ligament/tendon fitness - can be improved through appropriate activities.
  • Mental health fitness
  • Financial fitness
  • Social fitness
  • Spiritual fitness
The traditional one most often ignored in the bicycling world in my opinion is muscular strength - partucularly upper body - something that decreases year-after year after about 35 years old or so, if left unattended, but almost completely avoidable with appropriate activities. Muscular fitness also interacts with bone fitness in that exercises often used to strengthen can also help with osteoporosis prevention. Some believe that osteoporosis may be associated with bicycling. Controversial, but there are several studies pointing in that direction.

And your thoughts on "fitness?"
I think that's an excellent description of fitness. I can't think of much to add.

To your first list of traditional fitness I would maybe add "balance and co-ordination." To the second list I would add "Absence of disease" and define disease as sometihing like "something (internal) that interferes with quantity or quality of life."
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Old 03-19-10, 06:05 PM   #9
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I would add balance to the list - probably the most ignored yet most important.

However - for me, abdominal fitness - when my belly fat is there, I feel crappy. When I have fought it back I feel great.
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Old 03-19-10, 06:12 PM   #10
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Roody also added balance and also coordination. Good additions. I think your ab fitness would fall under muscular strength and body composition.

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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
I would add balance to the list - probably the most ignored yet most important.

However - for me, abdominal fitness - when my belly fat is there, I feel crappy. When I have fought it back I feel great.
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Old 03-19-10, 10:16 PM   #11
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Not a bad list... and the balance/coordination factor seems like a good addition. But the "financial, social, spiritual" components seem to introduce different elements outside the physical realm. Not saying they're not important, but they represent some qualitatively different dimensions that aren't easily measured. (On further reflection, I guess I feel a little uncomfortable with "financial fitness" somehow. Just my two-cents...)
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Old 03-20-10, 06:30 AM   #12
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They haven't used pine boxes for a long time, now it's exotic woods and fine silks, it's hard to actually bury someone for less then $10,000 now....
Hmm, this leads me to downgrade myself as far as financial fitness ...
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Old 03-20-10, 06:33 AM   #13
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I kind of like the whole list as a quick self-assessment. Maybe I'm just in the mood for that right now.
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Old 03-20-10, 06:36 AM   #14
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Please complete the poll at:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ess-assessment
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