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Old 07-25-12, 04:30 PM   #1
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Are you a "balanced exercise" nut? If so, please sound off.

This thread is directed specifically at those who try to maintain a balanced exercise/nutrition program.

At 72yo, I try (many times I don't succeed, but I try) to have a balanced exercise program.

For me, that is
  • a variety of aerobic training activities - swimming, walking, bicycling - of course
  • resistance exercise (generally at the max)
  • flexibility/stretching
  • nutrition/body composition (and this is my main failing)
  • internal body health (i.e., BP, cholesterol levels, etc.)
  • and perhaps one might include emotional/spiritual

So, how about you? What factors do you consider important? How do you go about implementing your efforts?

I am interested in your comments.
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Old 07-25-12, 04:46 PM   #2
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Depends on your definition of "nut". I guess if the shell fits... I would like to be more balanced.

- Aerobics: Cycling mainly and some walking and hiking.
- Resistance exercise: I was doing strength training with weights, not very heavy, a few months ago but developed tendonitis in my right shoulder. Working on it.
- Flexibility: Have to stretch pretty much every day to stay funtional. Which is probably divine intervention or karma or whatever because I HATE stretching.
- Nutrition/body composition: Big sweet tooth. Weight OK. Bodyfat not so good.
- Internal body health: Another failing. Hate going to the Dr. But he makes me come in annually before he will refill one of my prescriptions. Cholesterol is good. I credit the bicycling for that.
- Emotional/Spiritual: Working on it.
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Old 07-25-12, 05:33 PM   #3
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Back in graduate school, around 1980, I got into yoga along with running, biking, and swimming. I've kept up most consistently with yoga since then. I quickly stopped running and switched to walking. I also dropped swimming. My biking variies in intensity.

I got back into biking a few years ago through working with the 2010 Census. That got me out onto lots of back roads that looked really nice for biking. Plus I even got out our teenager's bike for some of the nearby work. I didn't have a rugged enough bike - we live in the mountains. So then in October 2010 I bought an "expedition touring" bike - plenty rugged for most anything. And I have been riding it more and more!

My big goat this year was Cycling the Erie Canal, a tour organized by Parks and Trails New York. 400 miles, much of it along gravel tow path, and plenty of that rather bumpy. 400 miles in 8 days. I rode about 1600 miles this year before the tour started (July 8) - so now I guess I am over 2000 miles.

Working up to the tour, I focused on biking, and so got myself a bit out of balance. Now the tour is done - it went quite well - I need to get back in balance. Mostly I just want to do more hiking and a lot more yoga. Ah, and we got a rowing machine a couple years ago too, which is nice especially in difficult weather.

My BMI is around 25 and I definitely want to get it down to about 21. It was easier when I was living alone. Maybe when the teenager is off to college - in one month!!! - it will be easier to get the cookies and ice cream sandwiches out of the house!
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Old 07-25-12, 06:36 PM   #4
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Jim, I'm always willing to lend a helping hand, especially to a fellow Bike Forum member so you can send those cookies and ice cream sandwiches to me and thus avoid that temptation.

I often think the secret of life is to maintain balance in all areas. Passion for a particular activity is good but should be matched to complimentary activities. From an exercise point of view, every muscle has an opposite. To exercise one and exclude the other will create an imbalance that frequently leads to damage in the weaker one.

I love cycling and have put on muscle in the legs but I've not been walking and backpacking much lately. This has resulted in some leg muscles being much stronger but others are weaker. In the last few weeks I've begun to walk more to correct the imbalance. Already at the slower walking pace, little used leg muscles are coming back "on line". The slower pace is a rich experience in it's own way.

Stretching has always felt good and I've been doing it for some years and I'm probably more flexible now than 20 years ago. I also exercise with a couple dumb bells for upper body strength and also feel free weights help with all the small muscles that help with balance and thus improve my skiing. As in a good stew, each ingredient of life in general complements every other ingredient.
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Old 07-25-12, 07:15 PM   #5
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I bike in the summer and pump iron in the winter. I'm not too balanced. However, this will be my first winter of putting my bike on a trainer and wearing out a rear tire.....I want to be very unbalanced by spring time.
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Old 07-26-12, 04:52 AM   #6
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Must be balanced---Haven't had a Tombay for years

When I was doing the hard rides I had to get down the gym to improve the parts of the physique that cycling was not helping. Back and neck came in for some of that Gym work but most of the cardio I did was to improve mobility aswell. Cycling did not keep me in A.1. condition but just a bit extra and it came.

But I ain't gonna do a 12 hour ride on a bike up hills again. They hurt too much when I was fit- let alone now. But physically I still find plenty to exercise me. Just enough to keep mobile and just enough to stay in trim. Food wise and now I don't get Lunch from the bakers--weight has gone down- form has improved and I feel better (Except for that lower back that aches too often) Mentally and what do I have to worry about? not much except when the grand kids come round and it is a strain keeping them out of trouble.

But I am not a "Nut" about my fitness. I do as much varied exercise as I need- I am not going to start lifting 56lbs sacks of sand around for too far or often- and it is varied.

Now wheres the hammock so I can get into the garden to look around for the next project to do---and think of the best way to achieve it. Normally involves the Son-in-Law if it is too heavy.
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.

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Old 07-26-12, 04:56 AM   #7
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Achieving balance is a matter of how you set the scale. Being a nut is another subject. I have modified my obsessive behavior on cycling in that my mileage and time spent on the bike is way down over the past two seasons. The time I spend with my family doing other activities just as demanding and that they want to participate in has balanced this out. Obsession about weight and an exacting diet has reduced and life is much better. I no longer feel guilty if I miss a ride or eat some ice cream. Life is good.
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Old 07-26-12, 05:05 AM   #8
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I find that I enjoy biking so much that I pretty much do that to the exclusion of all other exercise. I used to go the gym, but I find it boring. I was into full contact martial arts and they did give a total body workout... and broken teeth, broken toes, deformed bones, bruises etc. The injuries got too much so I had to give that up. I love swimming, but living in Seoul the pools are all expensive and crowded and the water on most of the beaches is too dirty to consider swimming in. Thus I'm left with hiking up the local "mountain" - more like a molehill or cycling as much as I can. Cycling wins. Sure my upper body suffers somewhat, but I feel great anyway.
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