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Old 07-25-03, 03:49 PM   #1
Bikesick
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Are we burning ourselves out?

Are we burning ourselves out due to the physical exercise of riding a bike regularly. I'm serious about this!!! It's something that I've had on my mind for several weeks now. Sometimes I feel pretty used up!

I remember seeing a taped interview with George Burns (who lived to be about a hundred and freakin' ninety years old!!), when asked about his secret to long life, he said something to the effect of he always took it easy. I mean, the dude smoked a big fat cuban cigar every day! I think about this sometimes and wonder if I'm doing the right thing.

Obviously the exercise has benefits, but are we using ourselves up in the long run??? What do you think? :confused:

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Old 07-25-03, 03:56 PM   #2
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Possibly. The more scientific of the group could better testify but I've heard of studies recently that say that since baby boomers are living longer and excercising they are also getting alot of serious joint injuries.

I think Lance A. has even stated that he doesn't expect to live as long because of his racing and training (not the cancer). Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.

The benefits in my mind still outweigh the risks. I'll let you know in another 35 years.
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Old 07-25-03, 03:57 PM   #3
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Not I. I always listen to my body. When it says "take a rest from biking," I do exactly as it says. Works well for me.

When I start to dread the ride, or don't want to look at my bike, I know!! Then I go for a long walk instead. A nice change.
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Old 07-25-03, 04:08 PM   #4
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Boredom and cycling quite often go hand in hand. The trick is to vary your routines and routes, if possible. If you're tired a lot it might mean poor nutrition. Not getting enough carbs/protein/liquid for your body to replenish itself.
Ask yourself why you stated biking. Was it for fun, or was it something you thought you had to do? If you can't ride and have fun at the same time, you may have chosen the wrong exercise program.
Don't look at Geo. look at your own ancesters. Did they live a long time? Long life usually runs in families. (BTW, Geo claimed, at one time, to smoke 10 to 20 cigars a day.)
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Old 07-25-03, 04:23 PM   #5
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Originally posted by ljbike
Boredom and cycling quite often go hand in hand. The trick is to vary your routines and routes, if possible. If you're tired a lot it might mean poor nutrition. Not getting enough carbs/protein/liquid for your body to replenish itself.
Ask yourself why you stated biking. Was it for fun, or was it something you thought you had to do? If you can't ride and have fun at the same time, you may have chosen the wrong exercise program.
Don't look at Geo. look at your own ancesters. Did they live a long time? Long life usually runs in families. (BTW, Geo claimed, at one time, to smoke 10 to 20 cigars a day.)
what I read from Bikesick's post is that he suspects that exercising too much might ultimately reduce our lifespan... not that he feels mentally burnt out.

That said, I doubt that moderate exercise can do anything except help your body, excluding overuse injuries and accidents. Of course, injuries and accidents in themselves can hurt overall health in the long run.
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Old 07-25-03, 04:24 PM   #6
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i'd also like to add that the point shold not to live a long life, but to live a full one.

in my book at least, a life without exercise (let alone cycling) is pretty darn empty!!!
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Old 07-25-03, 04:25 PM   #7
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Yes i would agree to a point..some of us have to ride our bicycles due to dissabilities,I find it easier to ride then i do to walk.
I would agree that we need to put the bicycle in it's place in other words we need to control the bicycle and not let bicycle control us
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Old 07-25-03, 04:58 PM   #8
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I dont like to not ride for 2 days in a row but sometimes i just dont feel like it and i dont.Its ok.
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Old 07-25-03, 05:43 PM   #9
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lance has cancer?
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Old 07-25-03, 05:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ljbike
Boredom and cycling quite often go hand in hand. The trick is to vary your routines and routes, if possible. If you're tired a lot it might mean poor nutrition. Not getting enough carbs/protein/liquid for your body to replenish itself.
Ask yourself why you stated biking. Was it for fun, or was it something you thought you had to do? If you can't ride and have fun at the same time, you may have chosen the wrong exercise program.
Don't look at Geo. look at your own ancesters. Did they live a long time? Long life usually runs in families. (BTW, Geo claimed, at one time, to smoke 10 to 20 cigars a day.)
Yea... I hear ya on all that ljbike, but I'm not bored. And I know about eating and stuff. And let's factor out the genes. I'm talkin' "wear and tear" here!!

I started biking because it's fun and it always has been fun. I loved biking as a kid and still do!! I'm also very physical and do it for fitness. ...and to be around other people that are into fitness. ...and there's not enough of them that are into fitness. So are "they" right and we're wrong???

I do feel burned out physically sometimes, but I still want to get on that bike. In fact I gotta get out of here and go catch my group ride. But is it really good for us in the long haul?? ..why don't more people do it??

I AM a bit confused about this right now. Tell me something good!!
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Old 07-25-03, 06:13 PM   #11
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Originally posted by JasBike
lance has cancer?
Lance had cancer, testicular cancer. He has since recovered though.

Anyway, I saw this documentary on television yesterday. It was about aging and how we are using up ourselves with every single breath. It is due to oxidation that we age. As we grow older, we produce more free oxygen radicals that causes certain health problems. I am really not sure about exercising increasing that oxidation. However, since we are using more oxygen, I think there is a higher chance of oxidation. What I do know is that even though we use more oxygen, we might not be producing oxygen free radicals as much as the unhealthy inactive other individuals. That is partly due to our diet as we eat more fruits and vegetables that prevent and absorb such radicals. I am not sure ultimately who loses out and who gains. I have really since many old people who smokes and live long lifes. My grandfather though is 94 this year, he doesn't smoke though, but he does not exercise either. Long lifes could be genetic, but even then, moderate exercise does reduce the risk of diseases and help you to live longer. If you want to live to an old ripe age of 200 years old, I really have no idea how and which will be the right way to go about doing it.
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Old 07-25-03, 06:15 PM   #12
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Overtraining is a stress on the body. Enough of any stress is gonna hurt. But...exercise is something you need, most Americans don't get enough, and it shows. You need to get an organised training regimen going. A coach ( a guy you can talk to, outfits like CTS might be ok, but they can't look in your eyes and tell you to take the day off). There are good sources for info, I like the Heart Rate Monitor Book for Indoor and Outdoor Cyclists by Edwards and Reed.
But the bottom line is you want to hammer once a week. All the other rides during the week are either for recovery, or for base building. If you really want to get sophisticated look into periodised training schedules.
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Old 07-25-03, 06:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bikesick
Are we burning ourselves out due to the physical exercise of riding a bike regularly. I'm serious about this!!! It's something that I've had on my mind for several weeks now. Sometimes I feel pretty used up!

I remember seeing a taped interview with George Burns (who lived to be about a hundred and freakin' ninety years old!!), when asked about his secret to long life, he said something to the effect of he always took it easy. I mean, the dude smoked a big fat cuban cigar every day! I think about this sometimes and wonder if I'm doing the right thing.

Obviously the exercise has benefits, but are we using ourselves up in the long run??? What do you think? :confused:
190 yrs old?!?!! Is that true?! Do you have any articles about that?
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Old 07-25-03, 07:34 PM   #14
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The way i look at my life is i would rather die doing something i love rather than at 95 not being able to do much of anything. I'm 19 and life is passing me by, its time to stop living on the sideline and start doing all the stuff i want too, after all it is my life.

those are my thoughts

-Ross
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Old 07-25-03, 08:12 PM   #15
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How long you live is determined partly by genetics. Some people take a licking and keep on ticking. Some don't. Docs have these formulas by which they can roughly predict how long you live. You can add years by not smoking or heavy drinking, exercise, and a good diet. You may not live to see 100 like george Burns did; but you'll be healthier. Btw, I believe the cigar was just part of the act for years.
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Old 07-25-03, 08:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by AquariaGuy
190 yrs old?!?!! Is that true?! Do you have any articles about that?
.... okay, 190 was a slight exaggeration!
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Old 07-25-03, 08:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by late
How long you live is determined partly by genetics. Some people take a licking and keep on ticking. Some don't. Docs have these formulas by which they can roughly predict how long you live. You can add years by not smoking or heavy drinking, exercise, and a good diet. You may not live to see 100 like george Burns did; but you'll be healthier. Btw, I believe the cigar was just part of the act for years.
True. Everything I have read indicates that moderate exercise strengthens the immune system, whereas brutally strenuous exercise depresses it. I believe in the value of a healthful diet and ample exercise, but it is scary that the world's [arguably] greatest cyclist, Lance Armstrong, and the world's greatest mile runner, Steve Scott, both had testicular cancer. (Scott, a north coastal San Diego resident, has held the record speed for the one-mile run for 20 years and has run 136 sub-4-minute miles. He often donates his time to coordinate and supervise fund-raising jog-a-thons at our local schools.)
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Old 07-26-03, 01:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by deliriou5
i'd also like to add that the point shold not to live a long life, but to live a full one.
I agree. I also don't care about living to 150 years old if it means I have a tired old body that won't do what I want by the time I'm 40. However, I think a lot of it is determined by genetics and natural factors in our make up. I also think diet is a big part of it. Riding won't kill you, but if you don't provide your body with the appropriate fuel to keep you going, you will do yourself harm.

As far as the idea of professional athletes having a shorter life span. I've often wondered if that was due to some of the "other" things I believe athletes in virtually all sports take on a regular basis.
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Old 07-26-03, 03:14 AM   #19
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This article by gives a good synopsis. The guy isn't a physician but gives a good summary and actualy is quite insightful in interpreting the clinical studies. I've read his stuff elsewhere and it always impresses me.

The upshot is, excercise will reduce the major causes of mortality but does it necessarily increase the lifespan for an individual? That is very difficult to prove since we don't know how much genetics plays a role. He mentions twin studies, (Same genetic makeup and the variable looked at was excercise.) http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag96/feb96-fitness.html
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Old 07-26-03, 03:34 AM   #20
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Well, that one is complex.

Cycling probably does not wear people out. If you look at pro football players, they have a tremendous numbers of disabilities from repeated trauma. Football is not good for human bodies.
Cycling is low impact. So it does not have the trauma. So I doubt that cycling causes any particular harm to the human body.

It is also aerobic which increases cardiac function, circulation etc. Also most cyclists are thinner then the normal population. And virtually no cyclists smoke - smoking is such a drag on cycling that many cyclists give it up or perhaps keep smoking and give up cycling. I would think that most cyclists get more careful about their diet. Cycling or any atheletic endeavor brings on a suite of lifestyle changes taht are beneficial. Cycling also takes a high level of awareness just to avoid becoming a road kill and that has to be a good thing too.

So long term, I would think that cyclists have an marked advantage over the sedentary population.
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Old 07-26-03, 05:03 AM   #21
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Whether it uses up your body or not is beside the point. This topic reminds me of that character in Catch - 22 who noticed time was subjectively "slower" when he was bored and figured his life would seem "longer" if he could somehow manage to be bored all the time. When you reach the other end of it, life will seem to have been very short. Do the things you love to do, take reasonably good care of yourself, and no matter how long it lasts, you won't have any regrets about it.
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Old 07-26-03, 05:28 AM   #22
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okay. my great grand ma is still alive @ 100yrs old. She can still walk on her own, eat on her own, etc. She can still do things she did 10-20 yrs ago..

Almost all her life she smoked tobacco. Not the processed ones found in cigarettes.. Just rolled up leaves w/c she makes herself...

She had been a vendor, carrying in her back what she can carry, walking several miles a day....

She is fit/slim..

As interviewed by local stations, she credits her long life to:
1. God
2. her smoking...
3. and her way of life..
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Old 07-26-03, 06:12 AM   #23
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There was an article sometime back - I think in our local paper - about some research on intense athletes and their life span. I believe the article referenced a runner from Boulder, who died in his 40's and a number of other intense athletes who had died quite young, belying the supposed truism that intense athletes live longer.

The reason given was the free radical theory which are generated by intense exercise.

Anyway, my response is "everything in moderation."

And, we can all find examples of folks who smoked and lived long, and folks who didn't and died early. Thise who smoke and live long are simply lucky to have a genetic makeup that overcame the negative effects. You can not deny the massive research showing the terribly deleterious effects of smoking on health aand longevity for the vast majority of folks.

I will try to do a Google and find the article.

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Old 07-26-03, 07:47 AM   #24
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DNVRfox is right. the link i provided also commented on a study on a similar lines in Japan. Everything in moderation. However, I can tell you that even though the "longevity gene" may supersede bad habits like smoking, the quality of life may not be as good. I have many patients in their nineties and going onto 100. None of the ones who made it to 100 smoked. The ninety year old that smokes can't walk more than a mile. The 3 ninety plus year olds i can call off the top of my head, one still bikes 6 miles a day, the other was playing roller hockey unitl the age of 88, and the other is still powerwalking 2-3 hours a day and travels around the world. But once again, all things in moderation.
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Old 07-26-03, 08:13 AM   #25
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The obiturary pages of the cyclists touring club magazine offer an insight into cycling and longevity. Someone analysed them, and concluded that touring-style leisure cycling is associated with a longer lifespan, but like most correlations, that doent prove a causal link.
World-class professional athletes are another thing altogether. They have a punishing training and competative schedule, and many take performance enhancing drugs. Quite a few TdF riders reckon that a top level cycling does age you.
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