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  1. #1
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    Is biking enough for good health?

    Hypothetical question: Is biking 30+ minutes a day all you need for good health, or are there more exercises that need to be done? (if so, which?)

    Thanks

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    Senior Member oban_kobi's Avatar
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    It's certainly enough for better health, better than most. I'd say it's enough, though others say an hour is best. Remember, a healthy diet is just as important as daily exercise. Eat your veggies!
    This is super seriously.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    For a balanced and good health program, include at least the following:

    1. Flexibility (stretching, etc.)

    2. Body composition (% fat vs muscle)

    3. Muscular strength (particularly important as one ages)

    4. Cardio vascular health and endurance

    5. "Medical" health - diabetes, condition of heart and other organs, arthritis, hypoglycemia, etc.

    6. Nutrition - what one puts in their body, necessary supplements, etc.

    7. Regular physical checkups

    Certainly bicycling can help with aspects of the above, but it is definitely not the total picture.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-02-11 at 07:14 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oban_kobi View Post
    It's certainly enough for better health, better than most. I'd say it's enough, though others say an hour is best. Remember, a healthy diet is just as important as daily exercise. Eat your veggies!
    One hour would be my advise.
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  5. #5
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    Biking alone does little if anything for upper body strength, conditioning, and flexibility.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

    Pogo

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    Senior Member NormDeplume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
    Biking alone does little if anything for upper body strength, conditioning, and flexibility.
    +1

    Biking 30 min a day is a great starty, but some sort of impact/weight-bearing exercise is also really needed, partly for muscle strength, but also for bone density.

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    Senior Member oban_kobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    One hour would be my advise.
    If you have time for it, definitely.
    This is super seriously.

  8. #8
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    It depends as well on the type of biking - short sharp speed races will build up muscle, while the longer more relaxed cycles help with endurance. Biking while awesome isn't a complete exercise regimen by itself though. Something like swimming is as close to that as you're likely to get.

  9. #9
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    For a balanced and good health program, include at least the following:

    1. Flexibility (stretching, etc.)

    2. Body composition (% fat vs muscle)

    3. Muscular strength (particularly important as one ages)

    4. Cardio vascular health and endurance

    5. "Medical" health - diabetes, condition of heart and other organs, arthritis, hypoglycemia, etc.

    6. Nutrition - what one puts in their body, necessary supplements, etc.

    7. Regular physical checkups

    Certainly bicycling can help with aspects of the above, but it is definitely not the total picture.
    I'd make nutrition number one on the list. You can run a car, for example, on ethanol, but you won't get the best performance or efficiency as you would running gasoline.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    I'd make nutrition number one on the list. You can run a car, for example, on ethanol, but you won't get the best performance or efficiency as you would running gasoline.
    Is that ehtanol bit learned from personal experience?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Fittest I have ever been when I was cycling 60 km a day and spending my workday doing fairly intense physical labour... by itself the cycling does not provide enough load bearing exercise and does little to build muscle.

    It all starts with good nutrition and maintaining good flexibility is important so stretching is an important aspect of any complete health regimen.

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Is that ehtanol bit learned from personal experience?
    yep
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    ... Brittain's Avatar
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    I read once (it's been a few years and you know how these "facts" change over time) that you don't start burning fat until you've been riding a bike for 90 minutes (and I assume this means riding in the fat burning heart rate zone).

    I will grant you that burning fat and being healthy are not the same thing, but it does tell me that you would need to be on your bike for a longer amount of time to get the same workout as a 30 minute jog. For most people, myself included, an hour a day of getting away from the house is a rare luxury, so a 30 minute jog in the morning is what I choose to do for exercise. I mostly commute with my bicycle (and when I do have the chance to go on a nice long bike ride, I don't think of it as exercise in the same vein as jogging).

    If time constraints were not an issue, I'm not sure what would be a better workout, but certainly neither one of them on their own leads to good health. Like the other posters have said, good nutrition and using other muscle groups is required.

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    (and I assume this means riding in the fat burning heart rate zone).
    There is no such thing as a fat burning heart rate zone. This is a fallacy promulgated by manufacturers of exercise equipment to have a nice thing to put on their charts. There is a place where one burns a higher percentage of fat a certain exercise rate, but it is negated at higher rates of exercise by the total increase in calories burned, which eventually comes from fat.

    There are numerous web sites documenting this fallacy. I will try and find a couple. In the meantime do your own research.

    http://epoch-archive.com/a1/en/us/ny...0091217_NY.pdf

    http://www.divinecaroline.com/22176/...ealth-hype-six

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/cont.../99999999/1/1/
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-05-11 at 03:05 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  15. #15
    Senior Member javal's Avatar
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    Since riding is a non-contact sport, it doesnt enhance skeleton strength. Should be combined with walking, running or similair strain.
    the rider makes the bike - steel club member 198

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    checkout www.hundredpushups.com and his other programs (200 sit-ups etc etc )

  17. #17
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloud View Post
    checkout www.hundredpushups.com and his other programs (200 sit-ups etc etc )
    Situps are no longer considered a safe exercise, use crunches instead.

    For abs and core muscles add in planks - 60 to 90 seconds at a time. For hams (which get weakened by bicycling) use bridges. Do dips for triceps, along with pushups.

    At age 71, I do 90-120 second planks, 66 pushups, lots of two and one-legged bridges using a fitness ball, dips (4 sets of 20-25).
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Situps are no longer considered a safe exercise, use crunches instead.
    They recommend the crunches on their web site . I will checkout planks . thanks.

  19. #19
    ... Brittain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    There is no such thing as a fat burning heart rate zone. This is a fallacy promulgated by manufacturers of exercise equipment to have a nice thing to put on their charts. There is a place where one burns a higher percentage of fat a certain exercise rate, but it is negated at higher rates of exercise by the total increase in calories burned, which eventually comes from fat.

    There are numerous web sites documenting this fallacy. I will try and find a couple. In the meantime do your own research.

    http://epoch-archive.com/a1/en/us/ny...0091217_NY.pdf

    http://www.divinecaroline.com/22176/...ealth-hype-six

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/cont.../99999999/1/1/
    Comment retracted. And in the meantime, I don't pay attention to my heart rate unless it is non-existent.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Situps are no longer considered a safe exercise, use crunches instead.

    For abs and core muscles add in planks - 60 to 90 seconds at a time. For hams (which get weakened by bicycling) use bridges. Do dips for triceps, along with pushups.

    At age 71, I do 90-120 second planks, 66 pushups, lots of two and one-legged bridges using a fitness ball, dips (4 sets of 20-25).
    That's a very nice exercise list.

    I cycle about 100 miles a week but do no other exercise and my upper body strength does not compare well with my legs of steel.

    I tried to touch my toes the other day and couldn't get within 6 inches of them.

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    Do you guys think boxing is sufficient for upper body exercise--specifically a combination of shadow boxing and heavy bag work?

  22. #22
    Icantre Member stonefree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    I'd make nutrition number one on the list. You can run a car, for example, on ethanol, but you won't get the best performance or efficiency as you would running gasoline.
    A modern street car maybe. But with all due respect, that's a bad analogy. Ethanol is commonly known as a high octane racing fuel for race cars. Stick to bikes. I do, however, agree with your nutrition conclusion.
    "If we don't change direction, we will end up exactly where we are headed."

  23. #23
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    I went for my check up in May and told the doc i was riding again and he said biking was one of the best things i can do for health and exercise. Low impact and great for the heart. My blood work numbers were better also.
    Trek 7.3 FX

  24. #24
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Biking is a good start, at least. Realize that it's an efficient form of human-powered transportation, though - which means that it doesn't require a lot of exertion, either, unless you're really cranking.

    But, as has been said, make nutrition just as important. Even the exercise toys sold on TV say, in the fine print, to follow a good diet.

  25. #25
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    I've actually noticed improved upper-body and core muscle strength since I started biking. That's starting from a position of essentially zero conditioning, though!

    For upper-body, I'd really like to start kayaking -- went a week ago, and it's incredibly fun. I have no interest in "working out" for the sake of working out; I like my exercise to come from something that's fun and rewarding, or useful -- and ideally both.

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