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"All Round Fitness" Including Bicycling Thread

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

"All Round Fitness" Including Bicycling Thread

Old 11-27-14, 08:42 AM
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DnvrFox
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"All Round Fitness" Including Bicycling Thread

Perhaps some of you are like me - loving bicycling, but also into a lot of other "all-round" fitness activities and regimens, and would like a 50+ thread to discuss??

I am pretty heavily involved in:
  • Bicycling/spinning classes (when necessary)
  • All sorts of resistance training/weight lifting, TRX, stretch bands, free weights and similar
  • Swimming
  • A variety of stretches - in my case prescribed to prevent certain problems
  • Walking (my body does not allow me to run due to trochanteric hip bursitis)
  • Body balance
  • Muscle balance, imbalance
  • Nutrition
  • Body metrics - Blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
  • Body composition (fat/muscle/bones)

So how about you? Are you involved in any of the above? How often? What activities?

Any others interested?

Curious about responses!!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-27-14 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 11-27-14, 12:14 PM
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My path is similar in that I like a lot of variety in my exercise and also try to pay attention to nutrition and all areas of health. I raced bikes when I was young, and did Triathlon in my early to mid 30s. Then I got out of shape for probably a decade or so. Started being somewhat more active around 50 yr/old. Thought I had to quite running due to a blood clot/PE and knee issues. By mid 50s was pretty committed to strength training and aerobic conditioning primarily at the Y. Through the years I always rode bike, but not a lot and not very seriously. A couple of years ago, my wife and I decided to prepare to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back. Got serious about hiking 3-4 times a week and as many hills as possible. I wasn't able to make the trip (knees) but my wife and daughter did and had a blast. About a year ago had a complete work up done on both knees told they'd both need replacing but could probably get by for quite a while. Told to do pretty much anything but run or hike uneven surfaces. So last summer I did two sprint Tri's including the runs. Knees are hanging in there! So at this point I'm planning more triathlon next year and maybe an Olympic distance. My "off season" conditioning is:
- Currently a variety of aerobic stuff pretty much daily at the Y including eliptical, stepper, shooting baskets, rowing
- Running 1-2 miles about 4 days a week working on running with high cadence and running as "light" as possible. I'll be working up to long runs of 5-6 miles weekly in about 2 months
- Currently swimming 3 days a week about 4500 yrds, working toward 5 or more days a week and 10,000+ weekly yards
- Been spinning at the Y about 3 days a week. In less than a week we'll be in Florida for the winter and will probably average 100+ road miles a week
- I do yoga classes twice weekly, this has been a huge help for my back and comfort on the bike overall. I also try to work on bike core stuff and stretching and some yoga on my own for at least a few minutes daily. I might add a third class.
- Have done some pilates, might try to do more. My wife is a certified instructor, I'm thinking I'll probably try to do 30 min with her a couple of times a week in FL.
- Hike at least once or twice weekly. When in FL will do 2-4 hour beach walk/runs at least a couple of times a week.
- As far as nutrition, we've always favored whole/natural foods, lots of veggies, as little processed and fast food as possible. We've experimented with a variety of patterns including paleo, eat right for your type, vegan, etc.
- Could have been on BP medication 30+ years ago but controlling diet sodium, stress, and consistently trying to stay in at least decent shape of kept me off. Now that I'm really working on conditioning and nutrition my BP is lowest its been since early 20s. Well I think not having the stress of working helps that as well. I'm 5'10"+ and weigh about 155-158. I'd like to be closer to 150 and will probably start working toward that after the holidays. I peaked out at 190 + in my 40s.
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Old 11-27-14, 12:52 PM
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I'm a former Cub Scout, Boy Scout and U.S. Marine who's battled with the disease of addiction most all his life since age 12...I once put together 16+ years Clean & Sober during which time I became 2nd in the State of Florida as a competitive NFAA/FAA archer who's parent still have my letter of invitation to compete in "The 1991 Nationals"....back then I also pedaled 27 miles a day, jogged 3-5 miles a day and spent 1-2 hours with free-weights...everyday....for 5 years....then I met a girl...built a house...got hitched and raised 3 daughters all while working gobs of OT and no time for anything else...started smoking cigarettes again (the beginning of the end)...and hung in there by the skin of my teeth until several friends from NJ rode down on their motorcycles to take me too Daytona's Biketoberfest 2001...where I fell....which led to a 10 year long run ending with a class A addiction to opiates which almost cost me all in one fell swoop....job, family, home and life.

This coming July 27th I'll have 5 years clean and sober again...and the end of this month?...marks 3 months of kicking cigarettes (though I still hit a E-cig as little as possible) and?...getting back into cycling as I fear I'm too old and abused to tackling anything high impact like jogging again...leastways not right off the bat...but....what I did do those first few months of clean and sober after the severe withdraws went away?...was get back into my archery...mainly "Traditional" this time as it gives me a sense of inner peace with just God, me and my bow...and?...an excellent form of upper body exercise...here's a vid of me dragging my custom longbow out a few days ago....


and now?...it's time to pedal off some pounds and get the lower body back in shape as well..so I worked cycling back into the mix!

if any of you feel as though you'd like to get into archery for the upper body as well?...feel free to PM me...I'm happy to guide and help you along any way I can. Happy Thanksgiving and L8R, Bill.
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Old 11-27-14, 02:30 PM
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I am in total awe of the abilities of so many here. Truly a bunch of older athletes.


Bicycling/spinning classes (when necessary)-never have done this exercise and probably never will.

All sorts of resistance training/weight lifting, TRX, stretch bands, free weights and similar-occasionally some stretch band but other than that there is just too much pain.

Swimming- taught myself how to move through the water since I took up triathlons 2.5 years ago, but it hurts to swim and can't get much pull due to wrist(left) that needs a total joint replacement, a shoulder(right) that needs a total joint replacement and right LTN damage resulting from bicycle crash.

A variety of stretches - in my case prescribed to prevent certain problems-just don't do them.

Walking (my body does not allow me to run due to trochanteric hip bursitis)-because of knee issues I can not run but I took up walking, Chi Walking, that allows me to complete marathons. Half marathon PR walking is 2:11:10 and marathon PR walking is 4:56:48. I have the Space Coast Half Marathon this Sunday-11/30, Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon and Full Marathon 1/7-8-9-10/2015 followed by another 1/2 Marathon, 10K and 5K 1/11-12-13/2015 and then the Celebration Marathon 1/24/15.

Body balance-nope.

Muscle balance, imbalance-nope.

Nutrition-watch what I eat.

Body metrics - Blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.-nope, I do weigh myself often.

Body composition (fat/muscle/bones)-don't do anything about them.

So basically I bike, walk and swim, all the time being in some pain but pushing through it. Very rarely take anything OTC for the pain although my ortho doctors are more than willing to prescribe the bad stuff. When it gets approved, man, I'll see my doctors, man.......
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Old 11-27-14, 04:00 PM
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In my youth I played the traditional sports and went to college on a football scholarship (QB) and also played baseball (SS). These days at age 68 I am engaged in cycling and cardio & strength training at my gym. That's kind of about it. I have managed to get my weight down to 180 lbs, which is 5 lbs. less than my college football weight, and have about 20% body fat.
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Old 11-27-14, 06:50 PM
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Interesting and varied responses - thanks!!!!

My weight is my downfall, but I have lost about 30 lbs this last year and am continuing on my weight loss. At 75, I am extremely pleased when I can increase any portion of my routine, as muscles tend to deteriorate rapidly about now.

I am an extremely slow swimmer, and due to a condition I have called trigeminal neuralgia, I generally swim 1/2 lap with a crawl and the last 1/2 lap with a back stroke. This eliminates enough of the water pressure on my right upper lip which is the trigger point for the TN, which sends electric shocks around my right eyeball. Fun, and I have to be careful or I am in trouble. I generally swim for about 45 minutes to one hour 3-4 times per week. I have been told by the back docs not to do much breast stroke.

As far as bicycling, I am into it only for the enjoyment of the ride, and don't keep track of anything except to sort of set a goal for the day of where I might go and approximate miles. I generally go between 20 and 40 miles, and take whatever amount of time I might like. I also use the bikes for many errands, which builds up quite a bit of mileage.

The one thing I do measue is my various resistance exercises, where I greatly enjoy increases in reps and weight. I take days off and alternate between activities such as TRX, traditional exercises such as bench press, lat pull downs, barbell press, body dips (20-30 at a time), etc. I also do planks - up to 120 seconds and about 40 pushups. And TRX, where I follow a DVD workout.

I go to spinning class, but can arrange my towel in such a way as to sort of hide my phone in the pocket created by the large towel, and quietly sit in the back, reading a book, while following the yelled commands to whatever degree I like.

I tried Yoga but it did not "sync" for me - I hate having someone else touching my body and "adjusting" my limbs, etc. It just drives me nuts, so I gave Yoga up, and do stretches prescribed by my Phy Therapist.

I like to walk and hike, but have to be careful because of my Trochanteric bursitis in my left hip - a long-time injury. I have several "routes" - 3-4 miles long, some more flat than others.

I almost lost my body balance through walking almost entirely on flat surfaces. I used the BOSU ball and other balance activities (balance board, discs, etc.), and started choosing a place where I had to walk through a gully with rocks to be either balanced on or walked around in sand, and have gained it back.

My blood pressure has always been high - even in high school (where I was skinny as a rail) it was 90/140. But yesterday am it was 108/75 and this am 122/75. I have taken a low dose of BP meds for years, and anticipate I will in the future. Cholesterol is fine.

As far as nutrition, we try to eat reasonably balanced meals - oatmeal, lots of fruit, chicken, veggies (although I am not a fan of veggies). whole wheat. We are not into "fad diets" or things that pop in and out of the public view every now and then. Little sugar (we have none in the house) except what you get in processed foods and no added salt. In fact, my blood salt level got so low (120 - sort of dangerous) that my PCP ordered me to eat some salt (we had to go and buy some also)!! However, we do enjoy a McD's low fat ice cream (140 calories) now and then and we have a favorite chinese restauant. So, everything in moderation, I guess.

As far as muscle balance, I used to do a lot of bridges, until my PT said to stop because of my continually degenerating back. Now I figure that all the different modalities I do helps to keep muscles in balance. It is generally known, for example, that only riding a bicycle will build up quads and ignore hams.



Thanks for all your responses!!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-28-14 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 11-28-14, 07:17 AM
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I go for less is more. I hate exercise for exercise sake. My riding is for fun with fitness as a side benefit. But I do want to keep fit for health so I gravitated to Body by Science that advocates resistance HIIT for fitness. BBS says you can maintain decent fitness with a single session of five core exercises once a week. The caveat is that they need to be carried to total muscle exhaustion - a very difficult feat. I realize that my body often fools me into doing slightly less than total, so I do resistance twice a week. In the cold winter months I take to the spin bikes but here too I embrace less is more. I do thirty minutes of alternate all out sprints coupled with less aggressive recovery stages. On the nutrition side I embraced a relatively low carb diet (not extremes - still eat rice and some potatoes) and dropped 18% of my body weight including a lot of slowly developed internal fat.

Edit: I started brushing my teeth standing on one foot and may look for some additional balance exercises. Again, I hate the classes -- too much. But I recognize that balance becomes a major issue as we get older and I am now on Medicare.
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Old 11-28-14, 08:24 AM
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I'm heavily involved in cycling year round and will only spin indoors when I cannot ride outside due to job constraints (I am on 24-hour call seven out of every 14 days) or the weather/roads are unsafe due to severe weather.

I belong to a local fitness center where I do resistance training with both machines and free weights, walk the indoor track, and use the spin-bikes, elliptical trainer, stair stepper and treadmill. I occasionally swim or play racquetball but am not very good at either. In the summer I stay active hiking, canoeing, and doing yard and house work. The medical facility where I work allows employees to use some of the physical therapy equipment during off hours so that helps, but you can't really work up a good sweat when you are still on duty. Still, any activity is better than none.

My nutrition is not what it should be. I do pretty well for long periods but then fall off the wagon, usually during the winter or periods of personal stress. I'm working on that.
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Old 11-28-14, 08:33 AM
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I'm afraid to say that I am unlike most of the others who have replied to this thread in that the only strenuous solo activity I regularly undertake is cycling. I also do a bit of hill walking, but I don't really think of these activities as exercise, more like enjoyable, and sometimes tiring, ways of spending time. I keep meaning to re-start Pilates as my old back problems are starting to re-emerge.

At 68, all through my adult life, since late teens until about 10 years ago, I kept myself fit by playing a lot of competitive sport for teams (rugby, tennis, squash, badminton, football, basketball). Age, injuries, plus the fact that I was increasingly getting whipped by youngsters, gradually made me give up these sports, and for a few years I became a regular gym bunny as a substitute for real sport. Then I became extremely bored with gyms and re-discovered cycling.

I know I should be mixing my exercise a bit, and putting in some resistance work, but, to be completely honest I can't get up any enthusiasm for exercise for its own sake and know that I will only continue to partake long-term in exercise if I enjoy it.
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Old 11-28-14, 08:44 AM
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I bicycle, walk, and watch "body metrics" (I like that term) BP, resting heart rate, etc. I agree with @donheff that exercise for exercise sake is a dead end - I enjoy bicycling and walking, and the health/fitness is just a by-product of doing something enjoyable.
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Old 11-28-14, 10:51 AM
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The usual stuff.

I spend my riding time in about a 50/50 mix of road and easy to moderate single track mtn biking, and hit the gym 2 or 3 times a week for cardio and strength training.

Pretty much I try for some kind of physical activity 4-5 times a week
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Old 11-28-14, 01:02 PM
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I may get the itch to go back to weight training. I was a competing powerlifter (165's and 181). Just prior to getting back on the bike just 4yrs ago I had put up a 350lb benchpress with all the older guys cheering and young bucks drooling.

Cycling has kept me happy but the decades of powerlifting still call.
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Old 11-28-14, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
<snip> I became 2nd in the State of Florida as a competitive NFAA/FAA archer who's parent still have my letter of invitation to compete in "The 1991 Nationals"....<snip>
Be careful now . . . not as young as you used to be. From the excavation of the Mary Rose and her longbowmen:
“The archers were the elite but the longbows they used took a toll of their bodies and you can see signs of repetitive stress in the shoulders and lower spine."
Mary Rose: scientists identify shipwreck's elite archers by RSI - Telegraph
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Old 11-28-14, 02:29 PM
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Cycling is my current #1 sport and will be as long as I can keep it up. I train year-round, mostly cycling specific. I now ride tandem with my wife almost entirely when I ride outdoors. My wife trains with me. She uses a trainer and I rollers for riding inside when the weather's cold or crappy. I say, "To keep your flying license current, you have to keep making the payments."

We mostly train so that we can keep up with our friends on our weekly group ride, which has been going on for ~17 years. We also try to go on one or more bike tours per year.

My wife also takes dressage lessons. I don't, but I train while she's gone for a lesson.

We also go to our gym. We've had a gym membership since 1979. We do spin class, stepmill, elliptical, free weights, and machines.

In winter I ski, though my wife doesn't care for it. We both snowshoe.

In summer we day hike once/week if it isn't raining. Getting soft in our old age. For the last 35 years, we've done a 10-day backpack every year.
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Old 11-28-14, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Be careful now . . . not as young as you used to be. From the excavation of the Mary Rose and her longbowmen:Mary Rose: scientists identify shipwreck's elite archers by RSI - Telegraph
And in 1987?....I used to assist in teaching exactly that to local Boy Scout Troops as part of an annual course our archery club made available so that they could earn their "Archery Merit Badges"....but also taught that the bows of these longbowmen were in the 120-150lb range of draw weight and capable of pushing a bodkin forged point (designed to defeat chainmail armor) through 4"s of oak and that the skeletons of such archers were easily identified as such by the excessive wear of their shoulder joints.

And I was not only a form coach but also the "designated exhibition shooter" to show them what could be achieved with a modern compound shot with fingers...the crowd favorite I devised?...a ping-pong ball hung by sewing thread at 40yds...but I do believe I've probably shot as many arrows (if not more) than any archer aboard the Mary Rose. LOL!

But my bows were/are about 1/3rd the weight of what they pulled.
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Old 11-28-14, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
And in 1987?....I used to assist in teaching exactly that to local Boy Scout Troops as part of an annual course our archery club made available so that they could earn their "Archery Merit Badges"....but also taught that the bows of these longbowmen were in the 120-150lb range of draw weight and capable of pushing a bodkin forged point (designed to defeat chainmail armor) through 4"s of oak and that the skeletons of such archers were easily identified as such by the excessive wear of their shoulder joints.

And I was not only a form coach but also the "designated exhibition shooter" to show them what could be achieved with a modern compound shot with fingers...the crowd favorite I devised?...a ping-pong ball hung by sewing thread at 40yds...but I do believe I've probably shot as many arrows (if not more) than any archer aboard the Mary Rose. LOL!

But my bows were/are about 1/3rd the weight of what they pulled.
That is so, so,so, so, so cool.
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Old 11-28-14, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That is so, so,so, so, so cool.
Thanks man!

And ya know I almost went back to edit that (due to your board name) to include that...much of the speed, hence flatter trajectory which leads to increased accuracy would not have been made possible with my lighter weight bows if it hadn't of been for the advent of "Carbon Fiber" arrow shafting....which btw I build myself which is just installing the points/inserts/nocks and doing whatever paintwork and fletching I desire and I find just the making of such therapeutic in it's own....here's some I called my Flaming CF Arrows....

First I blow canned on the red, into neon yellow, into white fade.....



Then install the hardware and fletch them up!....



and here's a vid I made a few days back of me shooting those very arrows from my Black Widow Take-Down Recurve.....



but the real cool thing?...is that for me?...I'm finding that while cycling is great exercise for my lower body and also a wonderful cardio exercise?...which makes it the perfect compliment to the upper body benefits of archery?...."THEY BOTH"....have a psychological benefit of giving me inner peace.
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Old 11-28-14, 10:12 PM
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Here is where I do my work:

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Old 11-28-14, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
Thanks man!

<snip>
but the real cool thing?...is that for me?...I'm finding that while cycling is great exercise for my lower body and also a wonderful cardio exercise?...which makes it the perfect compliment to the upper body benefits of archery?...."THEY BOTH"....have a psychological benefit of giving me inner peace.
Very nice!! I have never done archery except in play as a kid.
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Old 11-28-14, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Very nice!! I have never done archery except in play as a kid.
Well if you ever feel froggy?...You can get decked out with a brand new samick sage TD recurve, a dozen arrows and a couple compressed straw bales for less than $200 and the other cool thing is?....once you got this stuff?....you can shoot too your hearts content and it dosen't cost a dime until you shoot out the straw bales....much like once you have a decent bike set up?...you can roll on all the miles you want and it doesn't cost a dime....until the tires wear out.
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Old 11-28-14, 11:25 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Jinkster View Post
Well if you ever feel froggy?...You can get decked out with a brand new samick sage TD recurve, a dozen arrows and a couple compressed straw bales for less than $200 and the other cool thing is?....once you got this stuff?....you can shoot too your hearts content and it dosen't cost a dime until you shoot out the straw bales....much like once you have a decent bike set up?...you can roll on all the miles you want and it doesn't cost a dime....until the tires wear out.
That may be the theory, but I just dropped my bike off for a complete tune-up - including a new wheel (there were cracks by the nipples) total recableing, everything soaked and cleaned, new brake pads, new bar tape, etc. Total $210. I am NOT a mechanic and let COMPETENT folks work on my bikes. However, I have about 40,000 - 50,000 miles on that bike, and this is the first recabling since 1999.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 11-28-14 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 11-29-14, 02:10 AM
  #22  
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After I retired.... I sat and watched TV, played on the Internet, and smoked cigarettes. After a few months of that I had gained weight, developed gout, and was short of breath.

I went to hypnotist (plus used nicotine mints) to quit smoking, went on a diet, and started doing daily Wii exercises. Then one day while out... I saw a used bicycle with a for sale sign. I bought it without a second thought.

I had bicycled before as an adult but never seemed to have time to maintain the activity. As a retired person... cycling altered my life. Now I am in pretty good shape for an old guy. I cycle 2000+ miles a year (in a Midwest cycling season). In the winter months I weight/resistance train MUCH more than summer... and cycling MUCH less. Although I still spin on a trainer a little. I walk or walk/run when the weather is decent (year round).

I use a diet app on my phone (I used to use a tablet) to watch my calorie, protein, and fat intake.

I am always looking for new "winter" activities.
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Old 11-29-14, 09:40 AM
  #23  
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One hour of swimming this am. Stretching, 60 pushups, 2 60 second planks, wife wants to go for a walk - then continue to put the house back together after the inside was painted!! Also some Xmas decorations need upputting.
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Old 11-29-14, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
One hour of swimming this am. Stretching, 60 pushups, 2 60 second planks, wife wants to go for a walk - then continue to put the house back together after the inside was painted!! Also some Xmas decorations need upputting.
Your wife was on your back for the planks, right?
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Old 12-06-14, 08:46 AM
  #25  
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150 second plank (longest ever)

2 sets of 50 = pushups

Been doing a lot of swimming, and I have improved significantly in endurance. Nice

Anyone else want to post some results? I would love to see what others are doing.

Only 2 x 20 + 1 x 10 full body dips. Usually, I do at least 1 x 30. I think the pushups use the same muscles.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-06-14 at 09:18 AM.
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