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Is cycling enough?

Old 03-14-18, 04:55 PM
  #26  
MRT2
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
During the month of February the local hospital has a special where you can get an MRI heart valve scan. They look at the heart valves and check for plaque. You get "scored" from 0(clean and clear) to 5(you're probably having a heart attack right now). You want some piece of mind, then go that route. I did, scored a 0, also had a scan of my carotid artery too, just to be safer. More info is better, rather than assuming doing a few low intensity rides every once in a while will deter something that could be caused my genetics or diet. Check and see if they do this in your area, typically it's centered around heart health month or something like that.

No cycling is not enough. Thinking "I do this" therefore "that" will never happen is not too bright. Better to have a complete picture.

- My grandpa lived to almost 100, never exercised and ate like a garbage can. Smoked a pipe and ate red meat almost daily. Therefore the key to a long life is eating red meat, not exercising, smoking a pipe and yelling at the TV. My N of 1 makes about as much sense as your N of 1.

????

- Nope, not really. Did your friend do anything for flexibility? As others mentioned yoga is great for this. Even a few simple stretches every day can be good.

That's why God invented cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and indoor gyms and his most blessed invention...Zwift. I live in the PNW where we average 45" of snow a year, last year we got over 60". Not exercising because of weather is a poor excuse.

Cross training is certainly a thing.

Not one person with half a brain would say you're crazy for NOT using cycling as your only form of exercise. In fact, I've never heard anyone outside of misinformed people insist that one activity alone will be all you need for health, physical fitness or disease prevention. Not one. And if you do hear that from someone, discount their every utterance.

I ride because I love it. That there are some health benefits is nothing more than icing. I do other activities because I enjoy them to. Not once do I do any activity thinking it will prevent some disease, death or anything else. Surest way to stop doing something IMHO.

You slightly mention gaining or losing 15 pounds in the summer/winter with no riding. Who are we kidding, you're in the Clydesdale forum. It's actually kind of sad to see that you didn't even mention diet. Which is something that will effect heart disease even more than exercise or lack thereof. What was your friends diet? More importantly what changes are you going to make to your diet?

Obesity increases risk of heart disease and heart attacks in a huge way. Not only that, you are more at risk for heart disease with obesity even when other indicators like diabetes and high blood pressure are not present.

Keep riding your bike, as long as you enjoy it. Eat better (that should be a number one priority), have your heart scanned, cross train in other activities you like and don't make excuses. As far as martial arts go, I've been a Judoka for a number of years. It, and BJJ, are probably the best martial arts for exercise, fitness, and actually learning how to fight and defend yourself (assuming that matters). Find a decent Judo gym and start rolling. The cardio there will knock you flat, and you'll use a lot of fast twitch muscles (cycling typically focuses mostly on slow twitch) to round out your health and fitness. Avoid any of the older traditional martial arts fads that rely on charging a lot for yearly memberships, charge for "promotions", charge for "belts" and all the other McDojo crap that goes on in many places. For many martial arts gyms out there you're better off spending your money on dance lessons, you get better cardio, more useful skills, and the ladies will flock to you if you can cut a rug. You'll be just as talented in defending yourself after taking Salsa lessons as you will with most TKD training.

Good luck!
I mentioned diet in my follow up.

As for your endorsement of Judo, that is fine. My past experience is more with the striking martial arts than the grappling arts. Maybe I will take up a grappling art some day. I am familiar with the derogatory term for dojos or dojangs that charge a lot of money and promote a lot of children to higher belts, and charge a lot for testing fees. I am not prepared to criticize at this point, as I imagine like any other field, earning a living teaching martial arts can be a hustle. As long as I get what I need out of martial arts, my TKD instructor can promote as few, or as many child black belts as he wants to keep him in business for adults like me.

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Old 03-14-18, 09:59 PM
  #27  
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Genetics all the way. My uncle dropped dead on his bike. Literally. The guy rode five days a week and weighed 180 pounds wet.
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Old 03-15-18, 09:39 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post

2. Cycling does nothing for flexibility.


100% agree...do yoga its great!
So after reading this thread ... and being off Zwift for more than a week now with mechanicals, while doinking around with my new TV I got for my home office (smart TV), I found several Yoga channels with guided Yoga sessions. Just did my first one (I've dabbled a bit in the past), which I hope to make a regular thing for the foreseeable future.
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Old 03-15-18, 10:42 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
So after reading this thread ... and being off Zwift for more than a week now with mechanicals, while doinking around with my new TV I got for my home office (smart TV), I found several Yoga channels with guided Yoga sessions. Just did my first one (I've dabbled a bit in the past), which I hope to make a regular thing for the foreseeable future.
My wife does those. And she has workout DVDs that she does on some mornings.
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Old 03-15-18, 12:11 PM
  #30  
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Short answer: no, riding a bike is not enough to prevent a heart attack.


If you're reading this thread, it's worth your while to check out the risk factors shown at Make the Effort to Prevent Heart Disease with Life's Simple 7. Age, gender, and family history (or genetics) you can't do anything about. That leaves seven more risk factors you can modify. You gotta play this life game, but you do get to load the dice (seven ways)!


Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I think eating is more important than exercise. Eating healthy nutrious food, that is.


This is a good start. It's not easy, but posters in the clyde forum probably need to lose weight as well.


Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
During the month of February the local hospital has a special where you can get an MRI heart valve scan. They look at the heart valves and check for plaque. You get "scored" from 0(clean and clear) to 5(you're probably having a heart attack right now). You want some piece of mind, then go that route. I did, scored a 0, also had a scan of my carotid artery too, just to be safer. More info is better, rather than assuming doing a few low intensity rides every once in a while will deter something that could be caused my genetics or diet. Check and see if they do this in your area, typically it's centered around heart health month or something like that.
Don't count on this as an early warning. I was scheduled for a calcium scan a week after the day I had a heart attack. My cardiologist told me my MI would not have shown up on the calcium scan because it was a "soft plaque rupture," so that would have been $100 telling me I was fine; a false negative in my case.


My doc also told me I was alive because of all my cycling, so get out on the bike and ride!
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Old 03-16-18, 08:09 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
So after reading this thread ... and being off Zwift for more than a week now with mechanicals, while doinking around with my new TV I got for my home office (smart TV), I found several Yoga channels with guided Yoga sessions. Just did my first one (I've dabbled a bit in the past), which I hope to make a regular thing for the foreseeable future.


atta way! Once a week for me with just some simple basic stuff. I am a believer!
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Old 03-16-18, 08:14 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
atta way! Once a week for me with just some simple basic stuff. I am a believer!
Funny ... for being seemingly gentle and calm, I'm feeling it in certain muscles today
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Old 03-16-18, 08:17 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
Funny ... for being seemingly gentle and calm, I'm feeling it in certain muscles today


Yep, for the first few sessions it was hard on me as well!
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Old 03-16-18, 08:45 AM
  #34  
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My grandfather rode regularly from around the age of 16 until the time of his death-- nearly 70 years in the saddle. He ended up needing a quad-bypass in his late 60s. On a pre-op trip to the cardiologist, the doctor said to him, "I've got good news and bad news. Good news is, you've got the heart of a 20 year old. Bad news is, you have the arteries of a corpse."

No amount of cardio will keep you in shape if you eat like a human garbage can, which he did. And I'm not judging, if anything I'm jealous. I ride and hike for over 200 combined miles a week, eat vegetables by the fistful and avoid high sugar foods. I'll be lucky if I live as long as he did.
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Old 03-23-18, 08:05 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post

I am certainly not giving up on riding, but I am no longer planning on relying on cycling as my primary form of exercise. Some might say I am crazy, but I am taking up martial arts, with cycling being a complementary part of my program.
Look to your genetics. That's your family history is your first and most prominent indicator of your potential for good heart health. After that, your diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Finally comes your aerobic exercise. Martial arts won't do anything for heart health. Not even sure why you mentioned that?
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Old 03-23-18, 08:24 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Recently, a good friend had a heart attack that left him fighting for his life. Fortunately thanks to modern medicine, it looks like he will survive the ordeal. But here is the thing. Through the spring through fall, he rides 3 days a week, 1 to 2 hours per ride. In winter, he rides a stationary at the gym at what I would call a leisurely pace.

So I had to ask. Were there warning signs? Yes. Shortness of breath when walking up stairs, terrible back pain, and eventually tightness in the chest. So why didn't you get help sooner? Because, he said, how could I have advanced heart disease when I ride so much?

I have reluctantly concluded cycling alone isn't enough to prevent heart disease and other aging related diseases .

1. Cycling is a non weight bearing activity. While osteoporosis is mostly something that afflicts aging women, men can suffer from atrophy of lean muscle tissue.

2. Cycling does nothing for flexibility.

3. The seasonal nature of cycling for those who live in colder climates. Anybody who tends to lose 15 lbs every summer only to put it back on in the fall or winter knows what I mean.

4. Homeostasis. The body adjusts to any one activity and unless you progressively make it harder. Doing the exact same workout means you are actually allowing the body to get less fit as the body adjusts to the same workout every day or every other day. Anybody who has noticed their physique looks pretty much the same as it did last year, or the year before that knows what I mean.

I am certainly not giving up on riding, but I am no longer planning on relying on cycling as my primary form of exercise. Some might say I am crazy, but I am taking up martial arts, with cycling being a complementary part of my program.
1. Anything is better than a sedentary life style
2. Genetics and lifestyle off the bike are huge. I know someone who runs marathons and had a pulmonary embolism while training, she was a smoker.

With that being said....
After my wreck and injury last summer I finished the summer/fall in the worst shape I had been in a while so I really put in a lot of work at the gym over the last 5 months. Iím a casual cyclist but have been wanting to increase my speed and mileage. Iíve been weight training, stretching, various types of cardio, and putting miles in on the station bike. After 5 months (and an iron transfusion to deal my severe anemia) my work out routine is not nearly as intense. Normally when it gets warm out I back off of my gym routine but I wonít be doing that this year because I know I need to focus on more than just the bike. Your body adapts and unless youíre climbing serious hills itís not going to be as much of a work out.
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Old 03-23-18, 08:41 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Look to your genetics. That's your family history is your first and most prominent indicator of your potential for good heart health. After that, your diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Finally comes your aerobic exercise. Martial arts won't do anything for heart health. Not even sure why you mentioned that?
If I look at my genetics, than maybe I am doomed. But then again, you never know. My father died fairly young from heart disease. On the other hand, there are male relatives on both my mother and father's side of the family who, despite suffering some serious health issues in middle age, lived into their 90s, so lifestyle and genetics might work together.

My track record maintaining a healthy weight is mixed. However, when it comes to losing, and maintaining weight loss, doing a single type of physical activity has usually not been enough. Except, at times two. Running, and martial arts. Those were the activities where I did manage to maintain a healthy weight over a long period of time.

And, I respectfully disagree with your assessment of martial arts. I believe it will be beneficial to heart health. It is a full body workout, it is a year round activity, and it is weight bearing. Now, in some aspects, it is different from cycling. You apply full effort for short periods of time, and relax in between, which makes it a bit more of an interval type workout than cycling. My only concern is the wear and tear on my joints. I am hoping I can minimize with a good stretching regimen and with good technique.

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Old 03-23-18, 08:46 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Brooke1687 View Post
1. Anything is better than a sedentary life style
2. Genetics and lifestyle off the bike are huge. I know someone who runs marathons and had a pulmonary embolism while training, she was a smoker.

With that being said....
After my wreck and injury last summer I finished the summer/fall in the worst shape I had been in a while so I really put in a lot of work at the gym over the last 5 months. Iím a casual cyclist but have been wanting to increase my speed and mileage. Iíve been weight training, stretching, various types of cardio, and putting miles in on the station bike. After 5 months (and an iron transfusion to deal my severe anemia) my work out routine is not nearly as intense. Normally when it gets warm out I back off of my gym routine but I wonít be doing that this year because I know I need to focus on more than just the bike. Your body adapts and unless youíre climbing serious hills itís not going to be as much of a work out.
Spot on. Cycling has many benefits. It is low impact, longer rides help build physical endurance, it is an outdoor activity, and I do believe we all need to get outdoors a certain number of hours per week for mental health, and it can be a pro social activity helping to keep us connected to friends in the cycling tribe.

But my friend thought he was protecting himself by riding a certain number of hours per week, never mind that 97% of his rides were along flat roads at low to moderate speeds. When I used to point it out to him, he would demur, saying at his age, he was fitter than 95% of his peers. Turns out maybe he was wrong.
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Old 03-23-18, 10:16 PM
  #39  
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IMO, I think you need cycling, weights and stretching as activities.
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Old 03-23-18, 11:41 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Look to your genetics. That's your family history is your first and most prominent indicator of your potential for good heart health. After that, your diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Finally comes your aerobic exercise. Martial arts won't do anything for heart health. Not even sure why you mentioned that?
This is what I hear from people who stubbornly refuse to give up their poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles. The latest research indicates that diet and exercise is far more important for robust cardio-vascular health than genetics.

"...Think you're destined to get cardiovascular disease since it runs in your family? Take heart. A recent New England Journal of Medicine study suggests a healthy lifestyle may cut risk of heart disease events by about half. Events included heart attack, heart bypass surgery (restoring blood flow to heart muscle) and heart-related death. The drastic reduction was regardless of inherited risk..."

https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.ed...es_2132-1.html
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Old 03-24-18, 02:44 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Ball Bearing View Post
This is what I hear from people who stubbornly refuse to give up their poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles. The latest research indicates that diet and exercise is far more important for robust cardio-vascular health than genetics.



https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.ed...es_2132-1.html
That's not what I mean by genetics. Rather, that it is the single greatest predictor of overall cardio-vascular health; and that if its in your genes it will be an issue and something you should pay attention to. Nevertheless, it does not mean that these limitations are absolutes, and cannot be overcome with the proper diet and exercise.
"...Think you're destined to get cardiovascular disease since it runs in your family? Take heart. A recent New England Journal of Medicine study suggests a healthy lifestyle may cut risk of heart disease events by about half. Events included heart attack, heart bypass surgery (restoring blood flow to heart muscle) and heart-related death. The drastic reduction was regardless of inherited risk..."
That is what I'm saying.
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Old 03-24-18, 04:47 AM
  #42  
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There are risk factors for heart attacks beyond a sedentary lifestyle and for some people, no amount of exercise can overcome those. Things like high cholesterol and high blood pressure can be the dominant factors leading to a heart attack. Plus, as your friend possibly experienced, the symptoms may be non-existent or easy enough to ignore.

See your doctor, get tested, and reduce those risk factors.
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Old 03-26-18, 07:16 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I think eating is more important than exercise. Eating healthy nutrious food, that is.
Most my people from before two generations ago ate nothing but organic fruit and vegetables and free-range meats straight from the farm...they did no exercise except walking. Most lived to 80 or 90 years old, with no health disease.
That is...before the food became all industrialized and processed with extra sugar to make you addicted and preservatives.
This. After genetics, diet is the main determining factor for health. Then exercise.

Just gotta figure out what (sustainable) diet promotes the most health for you. For me, its the ketogenic diet.

There are a lot of studies out there saying excessive carbohydrate intake (which cyclists are very guilty of) leads to systemic inflammation, which leads to plaque (internal band-aids) buildup, which leads to artery issues, which leads to blockage, which are manifested as heart attacks and strokes.
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Old 03-26-18, 11:12 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
This. After genetics, diet is the main determining factor for health. Then exercise.

Just gotta figure out what (sustainable) diet promotes the most health for you. For me, its the ketogenic diet.

There are a lot of studies out there saying excessive carbohydrate intake (which cyclists are very guilty of) leads to systemic inflammation, which leads to plaque (internal band-aids) buildup, which leads to artery issues, which leads to blockage, which are manifested as heart attacks and strokes.
But on long rides especially, you need carbs. I am getting tired of all diets, and trying to go back to basics. Not worrying about eliminating entire categories of food. Rather, just trying to cut back on empty calories. Chips, french fries, sauces, dressings, sweets. And most importantly, keeping a medium to high intensity exercise regimen up year round.
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Old 03-26-18, 11:42 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
But on long rides especially, you need carbs.
That's what we've been told, yes. I've found that to be not the case for me and others.

Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I am getting tired of all diets, and trying to go back to basics. Not worrying about eliminating entire categories of food. Rather, just trying to cut back on empty calories. Chips, french fries, sauces, dressings, sweets. And most importantly, keeping a medium to high intensity exercise regimen up year round.
If you are worried about heart health, then diet becomes a main focus.

Everyone is different though. We have no history of heart attacks in my family. I know "more healthy" folks that have had multiple in their family.
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Old 03-26-18, 12:11 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
That's what we've been told, yes. I've found that to be not the case for me and others.



If you are worried about heart health, then diet becomes a main focus.

Everyone is different though. We have no history of heart attacks in my family. I know "more healthy" folks that have had multiple in their family.
I see your point, but wondering if eating a high fat diet is the answer. I am thinking maybe more fresh food and less processed food might be the path to heart health, relatively speaking. My mother seems to have been able to lose weight and extend her life just by eating less overall, but not necessarily eating all that healthy. (she would disagree, but IMO, eating 100 calorie servings of processed food is still eating too much processed food)

But honestly, I don't know for sure. My father had literally the worst eating habits of anyone I have ever seen and he paid the price. My habits are better, but far from perfect. At this point, I am carrying too much weight which I am making a priority to take off. Beyond that, I don't know how much I am prepared to change about my diet. As I said, more focus on fresh food, and cut way down on empty calories like sweets, french fries, and things like that.
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Old 03-26-18, 12:15 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
As I said, more focus on fresh food, and cut way down on empty calories like sweets, french fries, and things like that.
Good luck on your journey.

Be careful with TKD and your knees. Sometimes those spinning kicks can really torque old knees.
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Old 03-27-18, 02:10 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
That's what we've been told, yes. I've found that to be not the case for me and others.



If you are worried about heart health, then diet becomes a main focus.

Everyone is different though. We have no history of heart attacks in my family. I know "more healthy" folks that have had multiple in their family.
Actually it is the case. Its just a simpler molecule and a lot easier for you body to turn into energy. That's whats carbs are for (yes, I know they taste good too).

But therein lies the problem: we eat them for taste and don't burn them for immediate energy use and they get stored instead. Unless you burn them your body will react to carbs very fast to keep your blood sugar stable.
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Old 03-27-18, 06:12 AM
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Jarrett2
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Actually it is the case.
If you want to learn some stuff, google Ketogenic Athletes. Interesting stuff to be found.

I don't eat carbs for rides anymore, long or short.
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Old 03-27-18, 07:12 AM
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Riding alone is not enough....but it is better than nothing.


I am 52 yrs of age. I recently began cycling....9 months ago. I weighed a whopping 24 stone. I ate crap all day long. Sat on the sofa after work. Watching TV. Playing PS4. Guzzling fizzy drinks by the litre. Chocolate bars. Biscuits, cakes. Little or no exercise. I was unfit. In agony. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. High BP. Depression. Was taking a fistful of tablets every day to combat these problems....but never once thought about changing my lifestyle.


Until....


I was at work, could feel chest pains. Said nothing....as I work in the NHS and surrounded with nurses.


Went to A&E after work. Was admitted to hospital. Was basically told by a consultant that unless I change my life, I will be dead in 5 years. Even this didn't scare me enough....I know, ridiculous, isn't it?


So, on I went....eating, lazing about.


Until one day, a colleague who cycles - and had been on at me to go out with her - finally convinced me to give cycling a try. I dug my old Pagan MTB out the shed.....weighed about the same as a small car lol. Went over to the nature reserve, near where I stay......and struggled to go eben 1 mile. Any slight rise in the road killed me.


But, I kept at it. Bought a better bike, a Giant Aluxx hybrid. Went on the road. Managing 3 miles now before I collapsed. But, I kept going. the chance came along to buy a proper road bike. I did. Now, I am hooked.


This was 9 months ago. In that time, I have lost 4 stone. Can cycle for 40 miles now without a stop. Not fast, just at my own pace....avg 14mph. Wearing lycra - which I said I would never do! I have changed my life totally. I eat healthier. Don't sit in front of TV anywhere near as much as I did. Cut out the fizzy drinks, chocolate, cakes and all. Have a treat now and again. I still want to drop another 4 stone. I will do it!!!


No, cycling is not enough....but it is a good place to start. Without it, I wouldn't be in the place I am just now.


I did try jogging, walking and the gym....found that all very tedious. Not so with cycling. I have met many new friends, who encourage me. See the world in a different way....


So to quote the great Freddie Mercury....


"Get on your bikes and ride!"
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