I'm not a doctor but…
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
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I am new to this but I loved bikes since I was a kid till now, I am 52 year old male in reasonable health.
There is something which annoys me about riding a bike, it is the questions of sweating and cooling. I have a hilly area so I have to climb steep roads later to go downhills, What happens is when you are working hard climbing, you get all sweaty however when you go downhill you are no longer working hard and the sweat cools your down more than normal. I am worried about this as I feel that it can affect my health. I always heard that you do not cool yourself quickly after a had workout. So my questions to anyone who knows something about this:
1- Is it dangerous for the health to get sweaty then cooling quickly after a hard workout?
2- Is there any more risk in Winter when the weather is much cooler?
3- Is there any technique to enable us to ride a bike without having to worry about the effect of sweating and cooling?
I appreciate any reply and help with this matter
There are a lot of old wives tales and conventional wisdom on matters like this. But, I am glad to see, there are a lot of riders here who are into evidence based wisdom over the dross variously called "common sense", "it is well known", "Lance Armstrong says"...
My experience is it doesn't matter, but then I did all my hard riding in flat old perth with it's mild climate.
I'll be interested to see what evidence based takes we get on this thread.
Unchain yourself - Ride a unicycle .
I've found one way to avoid this situation is to use a thin base layer under a normal cycling jersey. One that will not make you hot, but does wick away from your body so that you do not get the the cold chill feeling. Then use the zipper on the jersey to regulate your body temp. Alternatively use a very thin lightweight sleeveless jacket that blocks most but not all air, again using the zipper to regulate body temp. I used to race solo 24hr races and found the first option was the best solution as I was able to race through the night without feeling chills. The key was to stop any air circulating directly over your body, so the base layer needs to be tight.
Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.
- Lewis Mumford
My view is you cannot avoid over and under heating on hills. You just want to minimize the extremes as practically as you can. This is why such a diverse range of cycling clothing has been developed.
To stop overheating on ascents, unzip your jersey/vest and keep your body as relaxed as possible, breathe deeper than you think you need to, in through the nose, out through the mouth. And above all, stay adequately hydrated.
On longer descents, zip up, bend down to reduce trunk surface exposed to wind. Fingers and toes often suffer first. So you may want to wear long finger gloves and toe caps over your shoes. In the past, I've found putting a pair of rubber surgical gloves (the kind I carry for mechanical repairs) under my short finger gloves, and covering the front of my toes with a bit of shopping bag plastic inside my shoes, suffice for mornings down to 4C.
Pros in Europe often stick a newspaper down the front of their jersey on descents.
I usually wear arm and leg warmers between 4C and 14C (esp if you know the weather is going to warm up quickly as the sun rises), rather then long armed or legged jerseys and niks. Much more versatile with temp changes. A good idea to wear a cap or headband to catch sweat before it falls in your eyes and glasses.
BTW, the best thing you can do to avoid the extremes is lose weight and improve fitness. Ive lost a lot of weight recently and am amazed how much less I sweat under the same conditions.
If you're still pedalling, I wouldn't worry. Just regulate the temps as others said. Once you STOP, however, lose the wet clothing and ensure you are warm enough, just like mum told you to. The body is always fighting infections and viral attacks, when you are cold the shivering is robbing your energy and ability to fight back. I've got a shocking habit of sitting at the PC after riding in a sweaty mess freezing my bum off.
I've been alternately sweating on ski hills and chilling down on the lifts for a few years now, and never had an issue.
In cooler conditions, I prefer to over-dress a bit and sweat, but stay warmer on the lifts. Getting too cold is worse than warming up and cooling down.
Wearing a chest warmer is a good compromise too. Let your arms and legs radiate heat when they need to, but keep your core warm with a fleece vest.
You have officially become your parents.
I'm a big sweater, but it come to advantage in races as I look like I'm working 10 times harder than I actually am.
With the heating and cooling, as long and you feet, head and hands are staying warm you should be fine. Also if you don't have one get a windvest/cycling gilet. When climbing unzip to let the air flow and and get the cool look going on, then once over the top zip it up to keep you warm. They are amazing pieces of kit
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