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Old 08-26-06, 08:47 AM   #1
jwc
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Unforeseen benefits of cycling...everyday

Well, I've been back on my bike for a year now....after two years off for back surgery. Before that, I only rode occassionally because of so much back pain. This went on for over a decade, just riding casually and short distances because my back couldn't take it. Thanks to a bad "adjustment", the problem became critical and I was rushed into surgery in 2003.

Anyway....I've noticed that since I've been back on my bike regularly my overall health has changed and I was wondering if anyone else has recently started riding again...or for the first time...and noticed any changes.

For me:

-My blood pressure has gone back to an average of 110/70. My heartrate has shown the biggest improvement.
-It only takes me about ten minutes to donate blood instead of twenty. (I'm a regular donor). The technician at the ARC said that people who excercise regularly have the least amount of problems donating.
-I haven't had to use a sick day at work for the past year...well, not one that I was really sick. I thought that it was "age" that was getting to me because I never called in sick when I was in my 20's and early 30's. It turns out, when looking back, it was my late 30's that I gave up riding regularly. I can only surmise that riding regularly has improved my resistance to colds and the flu virus.
-My legs have toned up and my wife really likes that. She says I have pretty legs.
-I breathe easier and get a better night's sleep.
-I've lost 3-4 inches off my waistline and dropped 15lbs.
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Old 08-26-06, 09:34 AM   #2
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I also have reaped many benefits from cycling. For one I've had 2 knee surgeries, and the cycling has been the best therapy I've ever done for them. I have more strength and less pain than I did before I started. The days that I ride in the morning, I've noticed that I'm not so grumpy the rest of the day. Plus when I finish long rides the feeling I get of doing something like that is just amazing. It's like a natural high. And of course the nice compliments I get from my wife as well are also excellent. So congratulations to you on all the benefits you are getting from cycling as well.
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Old 08-26-06, 10:01 AM   #3
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Yes, as you've discovered there is NO downside to daily cycling.
God didn't make man to grow roots on the couch.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 08-26-06, 10:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by -VELOCITY-
I also have reaped many benefits from cycling. For one I've had 2 knee surgeries, and the cycling has been the best therapy I've ever done for them. I have more strength and less pain than I did before I started. The days that I ride in the morning, I've noticed that I'm not so grumpy the rest of the day. Plus when I finish long rides the feeling I get of doing something like that is just amazing. It's like a natural high. And of course the nice compliments I get from my wife as well are also excellent. So congratulations to you on all the benefits you are getting from cycling as well.
I forgot about being "ill mannered" if I don't ride. I didn't realize it until a co-worker at my "day job" mentioned one morning that I must not have ridden into work. When I asked how she knew...she said that on mornings I've driven into work, I've been "ill as a hornet".
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Old 08-26-06, 02:40 PM   #5
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Same here. I was driving in on Fridays to give me a break. I just tossed that idea out the window last week. Now I am in a much better mood.

Lets see if I can state this one without getting in trouble
There is a certain activity that generally occurs between two people, especially before they have kids.
This "activity" is drastically improved due to increased stamina caused by loads of cardio based exercise cyclists perform. If you don't have a clue, ask your dad for the birds and the bees speech.
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Old 08-26-06, 03:38 PM   #6
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- Weight's down.
- Waistline's smaller.
- BP's down.
- Endometriosis symptoms improved.
- With riding minimum 40 miles a week, I've had to reduce the amount of thyroid hormone I take, and my free T4 keeps going up. That hasn't happened in 15 years of not having a thyroid.
- Family, friends, and coworkers all comment on how much less "high-strung" I seem.
- More energy.
- Feel less stressed out and much happier.

The only downside is that my allergies and dry mouth problems are somewhat worse, but that is a small price to pay for all of the above.

This has all happened in just 4 months of regular bicycle commuting.
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Old 08-27-06, 02:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by donnamb
- Weight's down.
- Waistline's smaller.
- BP's down.
- Endometriosis symptoms improved.
- With riding minimum 40 miles a week, I've had to reduce the amount of thyroid hormone I take, and my free T4 keeps going up. That hasn't happened in 15 years of not having a thyroid.
- Family, friends, and coworkers all comment on how much less "high-strung" I seem.
- More energy.
- Feel less stressed out and much happier.

The only downside is that my allergies and dry mouth problems are somewhat worse, but that is a small price to pay for all of the above.

This has all happened in just 4 months of regular bicycle commuting.
My allergy problems, or what I thought were allergy problems like clogged sinuses and sinus headaches, have pretty much disappeared. I can't say biking did it, but it couldn't have hurt.

Of course, it all may be psychological for me. I feel better about myself and have what I feel is a healthier outlook about everything about me. I mean, some benefits can be measured. Others, are due to either the supposed benefits to the immune system as a result of excercise or that I'm riding my stress off after work and as a result am more fit emotionally.
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Old 08-27-06, 08:13 PM   #8
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I achieve a lasting state of zen after the first few miles of the ride.

After 6 months of riding following 3 years off my bike, I've found I need less sleep.

The exposure to consistent exercise makes certain things better than a viagra ever could.

I've rediscovered that a rush of endorphines is a powerful high.

etc
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Old 08-28-06, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnamb
-
The only downside is that my allergies and dry mouth problems are somewhat worse, but that is a small price to pay for all of the above.

This has all happened in just 4 months of regular bicycle commuting.
Since you seem to be "new" to cycling I believe this cycling product will help you greatly just
don't be put off by the apperance when you wear it.

"It" is a smog mask. Many people wear them while cycling due ,and the fact that much of your
air intake is through the mouth, to smog or winters cold. The carbon filters really help with
symptoms such as yours so give "it" a try.

all the best.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...ety%20Products

Filter for the mask......

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%20Accessories
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 08-28-06, 09:52 AM   #10
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*My wife has been putting away all the money we have saved by me not driving a car anymore. Now we have enough cash to take an extra two week vacation to Florida this Thanksgiving.
* I've lost more weight than both my bikes weigh combined, loaded with full commuting gear.
* The pain in my knees is gone! Non-existant! I don't even need the Advil 4 times a day anymore.
* I actually got a raise at work because of my improved performance over the last few months... wonder how that happened
* Since I don't have to shop at the Big & Tall section anymore because of my previously huge arse I now save money on clothing.
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Old 08-28-06, 07:08 PM   #11
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I agree 100%. Cycling is the best cardio. Builds leg strength, cardiovascular system, and is great for the joints. I gave up running. Cycling is so much better for you. Just for the heck of it, I ran a mile to see what I can do. I ran a 8 minute mile and I haven't ran in three years. That means that cycling can prepare you for anything. Runners, on the other hand, can't just jump on a bike without gassing. IMO, cycling is superior cardio.
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Old 08-28-06, 07:26 PM   #12
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I feel more connected to the seasons, because in the spring I smell the blossoms and in the summer I feel the heat and in the fall I hear the leaves crunch under my tires and in the winter I feel the cool fog against my face.

In the car, you just change the heat/AC selector.
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Old 08-28-06, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
I feel more connected to the seasons, because in the spring I smell the blossoms and in the summer I feel the heat and in the fall I hear the leaves crunch under my tires and in the winter I feel the cool fog against my face.

In the car, you just change the heat/AC selector.
LOL
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Old 08-28-06, 07:37 PM   #14
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One thing I noticed last year (during the winter) is that I could handle cold weather better than my co-workers. They constantly complained about the cold, as did I the year before, but riding in cold weather evidently acclimates your body to ambient temps. Which makes sense...I saw a news report a month or so ago about how people's bodies are so used to controlled temps in cars and buildings, their bodies cannot self regulate as efficiently.
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Old 08-28-06, 08:41 PM   #15
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Of course it's not just cycling that has these positive effects..it's running, skating, swimming etc.. If you have a bad knee or a bad back don't give up your workout if you don't have to. Cross train with swimming or speed skating and you have something to fall back on if you can't get on your bike for a while. I was forced into doing this with a back injury.
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Old 08-28-06, 08:55 PM   #16
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I have done a lot of cycling this summer and have dropped about 30lbs and generally have a much sunnier disposition.
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