How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

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How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby dynamictiger » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:42 pm

Two years ago I was smoking close to 2 packets of 16 mg a day. According to the BMI I was morbidly obese, although according to the Doctor I was about 10 kg overweight. My blood pressure was on the up and up, had to have a script and then had to have the medication doubled to cope with the rising levels, in addition I was on depression tablets. I had a terribly dicky right knee and my left knee was just a quitter. My only form of exercise was washing my car and climbing the stairs at home.

I quit smoking with Champix in May 2010.

In February 2011 I thought I might start an exercise program to help loose some weight and started riding my step sons exercise bike every day for the duration of two songs. This slowly increased to 4 songs then 8 songs.

In May 2011 I joined a gym to take part in spin classes as I quite liked the idea, and as my knees were not my best friends I figured if they failed in a gym I didn't hasve as far to push my bike home. Been going once a week since then.

In May I also went to a nutritionist and had a diet makeover, and with their help have dropped the 10 kg (to Christmas) the doctor wanted me to drop...and I have a three pack...A three pack is a six pack trying to escape from the top of your stomach.

In November I bought a road bike. Frankly I never ever thought I would as my knees had been so unreliable I thought I would never be able to ride away from home. However what has happened is nothing short of miraculous my knees have literally healed themselves. Actually rationally what I think is the muscles supporting the function have improved to the point they now support my knees adequately.

Last week I went in for my reasonably regular check up and the doctor has suggested we can trial a lower strength medication for my blood pressure again.

I only ride for errands and to and from the gym, occasionally to work (I have a company car) and on the odd weekend when I can plus a couple of times during the week I ride a short 5 or 6 kilometres including an intense hill for fitness reasons. But hey I have just astarted and I am taking my time to get the body used to the workload. What will I be like in a year or so???
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by BNA » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:45 pm

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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby CommuRider » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:45 pm

Great story dt. Keep it up.
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:48 pm

Good for you mate and I bet you feel heaps better! :wink:

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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby WestcoastPete » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:53 pm

A great and continuing story. I look forward to hearing the rest of it and will share it around.

What have been the hardest parts? And how did you get past them?
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby dynamictiger » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:57 pm

The weird part is to date nothing has really been overly hard. Even giving up smoking wasn't particularly hard. Sure I used champix, but so has the Mrs and she is still smoking.

Having said that now I am finding it a bit of a drag. Moe so in the swimming it is becoming a bit of a chore as I do not feel like I am improving. Fortunately for me, my grandson wanted to come to the pool with me over the weekend and made me swim inside in the 25m pool instead of the deeper 50m. I suddenly realised I was swimming lengths near continuous whereas I had previously only been swimming in blocks of two lengths at a time. So I am slowly improving.

I think the hard part will be the next few months...but will see.

The second hardest part was getting past the hilarity of the BMI for me. Before I start a flame war on the benefits of BMI, I will point out I can only just fit through a normal doorway as my shoulders are as wide as the doorway.
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How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby gabrielle260 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:40 pm

Hey well done, Dynamictiger!! Great job so far!!
By the sound of it, you need some additional motivation for the next few months. If so, hunt out Caneman's story on www.ultracycling.com - it is truly amazing!
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby gururug » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:46 pm

Congrats, I admire your determination. Keep up the good work!
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby ganman » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:29 am

Well done mate. If things start to become tedious, change them up a bit. Do something different. Buy something for your bike :D to get you enthusiastic again. Works for me!
Anyway, as the old saying goes..."just do it". You've made a great start, which is the hardest part
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby Semar » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:48 pm

Cycling is the antidote to aging. :wink:
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby waramatt » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:11 pm

ganman wrote:Well done mate. If things start to become tedious, change them up a bit. Do something different. Buy something for your bike :D to get you enthusiastic again. Works for me!
Anyway, as the old saying goes..."just do it". You've made a great start, which is the hardest part


+1. Sometimes something as simple as a cheap pimping does the trick. New bar tape, coloured tyres etc. Another option is to ride somewhere amazing.
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby silkishuge » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:10 am

Well done mate. I came from a similar situation. Keep it up. You will have your 6 pack in no time at all :wink:

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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby rkelsen » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:57 am

Great effort.

As others have said, getting started is the hardest part and you're well past that now. My story is similar to yours. I wasn't smoking, but I was eating lots of deep fried foods and sugars. My BMI is still in the 'overweight' category, but decreasing daily. I'm lighter now than I was 20 years ago.
dynamictiger wrote:What will I be like in a year or so???

What about in 5 years' time?

Never give up, no matter what happens.

People call me crazy for riding through extreme weather, but I love it and would rather ride now than be diagnosed with diabetes or ticker trouble down the track.
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby iMad » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:30 am

Good for you Dynamic tiger, there's plenty of inspiration on this forum. It's terrific.

My story is similar. I'm 67 years old and had let myself go for many years and finished up 127kg at 174cm and barely able to tie my shoe laces. I was in my estimation around 40kg overweight.
I decided I had to do something about myself so around 4 months ago I bought a new bike and got back into cycling.
Now I'm 23kg lighter and even though I've been on reasonably high dose of Blood Pressure medication for many years, with my lifestyle changes I am now able to control it without medication.
Another benefit is that my total cholesterol is down from 4.6 to 3.4.
I realise that the journey to good health has only just begun and I have a lot more to do. I realise too that anyone on this type of journey will face countless challenges, but that's where having a resource like BNA is just fantastic.
Every day I get on to be inspired by stories like yours and many many others.
I sincerely hope that posting all this stuff about our personal lives does actually help others in need. It certainly helps me.
Last edited by iMad on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby trailgumby » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:58 am

One of the guys I work with looked like you, and was in a similar posiiton health-wise, although had not got to the blood pressure medication stage.

What did he achieve in two years? He qualified for the (2009?) World Solo 24 hour Mountain Bike champs that was held in Canada ... and he went and raced in it too. :lol:
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby rustychisel » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:52 pm

dynamictiger wrote:... started riding my step sons exercise bike every day for the duration of two songs. This slowly increased to 4 songs then 8 songs.



That's the most astoundingly simple and effective idea I've heard in a long time. I like it a lot.
Well done (not a patronising tone).
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby dynamictiger » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:17 pm

rustychisel wrote:
dynamictiger wrote:... started riding my step sons exercise bike every day for the duration of two songs. This slowly increased to 4 songs then 8 songs.



That's the most astoundingly simple and effective idea I've heard in a long time. I like it a lot.
Well done (not a patronising tone).


Must admit one of the things that put me off exercising was that I went to a gym when I was young. About 3 years post school, which means 3 years out of 4 hours a day swimming. The gym gave me an assesment and a program to follow. It was so hard I couldn't do it and gave up after a few weeks.

Looking on site at all the suggested get fit programs and so on they were way too much for someone in my starting condition. It was almost like these super fit dudes had sat down and designed programs for themselves they thought fatter people could do...after all these are easy exercises. Except they aren't.

If you have not formally exercised for 30 years what do you think you would do to start? Lets see 20 push ups, 20 sit ups and a run around the block...sure...lets call the ambulance now. So that is how I came up with the song concept. SImple effective, repeatable and measurable with improvement milestones.
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby The 2nd Womble » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:51 pm

Mayb it's time to change it up. The Muppets "Song That Never Ends" on repeat for additional oomph.
It's guys like you that inspire guys like me as much as any Cadel story. Legerrrrnd! :)
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Re: How Cycling Has Helped Improve My Health

Postby waramatt » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:02 pm

You all inspire me. iMad...great bloody effort mate :D
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