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How much is enough to get good cardio and lower BP?

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How much is enough to get good cardio and lower BP?

Old 04-10-18, 03:13 PM
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How much is enough to get good cardio and lower BP?

6'2" and 300 lbs. I regularly workout at gym already a couple times a week with weights and treadmill. I have gained weight in the last few years but don't look as fat as you would imagine (if I tell people my weight they are dumbstruck and can't believe it). However in the last two years my BP suddenly skyrocketed from normal range to danger zone and the medicine has side effects but does not seem to actually help the BP much!

I am up to around 4 miles a day now and have lost about 10 diastolic from my BP and would like to lose 10-15 more so I can stop using these damned medicines. However the time and especially the weather are a bit of a concern so I don't want to do more than I have to either. For me the only way to stick to things is to do it every single day, rain or shine or else I will eventually get sidetracked and get lazy on it.

So what is considered the range that is best for cardio where you get most bang for the buck? No idea how long my rides take and it varies a lot depending on weather so discussing the time taken is kind of useless.

Should I be shooting for 5 miles? 10 miles? If I go more than that then will it really make that much difference?

Any experiences you guys have would be a big help. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-18, 03:28 PM
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Everyone is different. I restarted cycling 4-1/2 years ago, have dropped from 220# to 205#, my BP is way too high without meds and cycling really hasn't changed it. My cholesterol, blood sugar and other metrics have all improved, but not BP. I've been been averaging about 130 miles per week over the last 3 years.
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Old 04-10-18, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
6'2" and 300 lbs. I regularly workout at gym already a couple times a week with weights and treadmill. I have gained weight in the last few years but don't look as fat as you would imagine (if I tell people my weight they are dumbstruck and can't believe it). However in the last two years my BP suddenly skyrocketed from normal range to danger zone and the medicine has side effects but does not seem to actually help the BP much!

I am up to around 4 miles a day now and have lost about 10 diastolic from my BP and would like to lose 10-15 more so I can stop using these damned medicines. However the time and especially the weather are a bit of a concern so I don't want to do more than I have to either. For me the only way to stick to things is to do it every single day, rain or shine or else I will eventually get sidetracked and get lazy on it.

So what is considered the range that is best for cardio where you get most bang for the buck? No idea how long my rides take and it varies a lot depending on weather so discussing the time taken is kind of useless.

Should I be shooting for 5 miles? 10 miles? If I go more than that then will it really make that much difference?

Any experiences you guys have would be a big help. Thanks.
I found weekly or more rides of 25 to 40 miles at a moderate pace somewhat beneficial for my cardiovascular health (and interestingly, cholesterol), but it doesn't do much for my weight which would also be my concern for you. To get your BP down, you probably need to lose some weight, and in my experience, cycling is only a moderately good exercise for weight loss, and most of your weight loss will come from diet.

A lot depends on how hard you ride, do you do intervals, or just a steady, slow ride? also, is your terrain flat, or hilly? But in general, 5 miles of cycling basically does nothing for you. 10 miles is a good start. 20 miles or more would be better. And if you do 20 miles or more, unless it is 15 miles of hilly terrain, try to push the pace so you get your heart rate up into the aerobic zone. That is a zone where you can talk, but you really don't want to because it is a bit of an effort.
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Old 04-10-18, 04:01 PM
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I'm one to measure thing on time in the saddle then miles.

Aim for 45-70min a day, 3-4 times a week and one ride that is 2-3hours long.

Check back in 6 months
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Old 04-10-18, 04:03 PM
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It's 95% diet. However, as one poster mentioned you'll want to do longer rides. Typically for max fat burning you'll need over 90 minutes and the longer (you can handle) the better your fat burning will be. As long of rides you can handle at Z2 (HR or Power). It will be tough, but that will probably give you the most benefit.


You're way over weight however, even if other people don't think you look like you weigh 300lbs...you need to trim that weight a great amount.


Good luck.
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Old 04-10-18, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
It's 95% diet. However, as one poster mentioned you'll want to do longer rides. Typically for max fat burning you'll need over 90 minutes and the longer (you can handle) the better your fat burning will be. As long of rides you can handle at Z2 (HR or Power). It will be tough, but that will probably give you the most benefit.


You're way over weight however, even if other people don't think you look like you weigh 300lbs...you need to trim that weight a great amount.


Good luck.
+1 even 10-20 lbs can make a BP differnce
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Old 04-10-18, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I found weekly or more rides of 25 to 40 miles at a moderate pace somewhat beneficial for my cardiovascular health (and interestingly, cholesterol), but it doesn't do much for my weight which would also be my concern for you. To get your BP down, you probably need to lose some weight, and in my experience, cycling is only a moderately good exercise for weight loss, and most of your weight loss will come from diet.

A lot depends on how hard you ride, do you do intervals, or just a steady, slow ride? also, is your terrain flat, or hilly? But in general, 5 miles of cycling basically does nothing for you. 10 miles is a good start. 20 miles or more would be better. And if you do 20 miles or more, unless it is 15 miles of hilly terrain, try to push the pace so you get your heart rate up into the aerobic zone. That is a zone where you can talk, but you really don't want to because it is a bit of an effort.
Basically it is up a steady rise 1/3 and then 1/3 flattish then 1/3 easy downhill. I go fast enough to get winded at least until the end.

I know I won't lose much weight from riding, but I am improving my cardio. Just not sure at what point it becomes a waste of time. From the perspective of heart health anyway.

Also, I do it daily, which is generally considered much better than doing a larger amount once or twice a week, which does basically zero for your heart.
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Old 04-10-18, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Basically it is up a steady rise 1/3 and then 1/3 flattish then 1/3 easy downhill. I go fast enough to get winded at least until the end.

I know I won't lose much weight from riding, but I am improving my cardio. Just not sure at what point it becomes a waste of time. From the perspective of heart health anyway.

Also, I do it daily, which is generally considered much better than doing a larger amount once or twice a week, which does basically zero for your heart.
Well, yes. Regular cardio, for sure. But if it is for shorter duration, the intensity needs to be high enough to make it worth your time. And, I am a believer in at least 1 ride of 2 hours or longer every week.
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Old 04-11-18, 09:18 AM
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As a certifiable internet doctor (i.e., totally unqualified and not having examined the patient), I guess I'm as qualified as anyone else on the thread. (In other words, go ask your REAL doctor, the one who put you on the meds!)


OK, with that off my chest, weight drives a lot of the problems you are having. Changing your diet is the best way to lose weight. (Unless you want to take the summer off and go on a bike tour, 6-8 hours of riding per day will help you lose weight. If you don't eat enough to maintain or increase the weight.)


How much weight do you need to lose? 5-10% usually makes a big difference. For you, that means you need to take off 15-30 pounds. Try Weight Watchers.


Why do I sound so confrontational? I was you 15 months ago, before my heart attack. Fat but fit, or so I thought. You may look thinner than 300 pounds, but your heart has to pump blood to every ounce of that 300 pounds, and it takes a lot of pressure to force the blood through all those narrow blood vessels. Take the medications your doctor prescribes, and ask the doc what to do to get back into a healthy zone. Many doctors have given up telling patients to lose weight because nobody follows those directions. You be the exception, listen, take notes, and do what you need to do.
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Old 04-11-18, 10:49 AM
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it's easy for your body to adapt to every day habits, that include riding a bike. So if you ride your bike 4-5 miles a day, after a couple months, it will feel like you only did a mile or two. The HR drops as you get fitter, even if you don't see the result. You can do this by getting a HRM. With the HR lower on the bike, you're not getting a work out unless you increase the intensity or increase the duration. Sometimes its good to do both. As reference; 5 miles at 10mph is 30min, 15mph is only 20minutes of exercise, or 20mph is 15mins.

Count calories, I like myfitnesspal. its free and has a good food data base. The calories burned on there is boarderline rubbish for me. I'd trust Strava/Garmin/Wahoo guesses better, but have to wear a HRM to get accurate number. As you start logging food, see what group your food lands into, fat, carbs, Protein. See what mix you are at already, and as you drop cals in, tweak protein and carb ratio until you don't feel tired.
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Old 04-11-18, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
It's 95% diet.
Well that's definitely not true. Some people have high BP even though they are skinny as a rail. Some of it can be weight related but I don't come to a bike forum to talk about diet tips and there's also people much heavier than me who have better BP. Being fat also increases your BP in a very specific way and I take a BP drug which works against that action (but is not doing anything for me).

If diet is truly 95% of physical health then there is obviously zero point to ride a bike in the first place. I don't accept that and have already seen that is not the case due to my BP decreases since I started daily bike rides.

As far as long hour+ rides go, endurance exercise is also a waste of time for cardio health. I also don't ride the bike to lose fat. I know from experience bicycle does virtually nothing for weight loss.
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Old 04-11-18, 01:25 PM
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Diet is 95% of weight loss. During 5 months of the last year I went from 230 lb to 165 lb, so I can definitely confirm this. This weight change didn't affect my blood pressure at all - but I didn't have high blood pressure in the first place, it was normal even with 230 lb.

I personally don't see a point of going to ride (or to gym) for less than an hour - it'll be just an exercise in change of clothes.
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Old 04-11-18, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
6'2" and 300 lbs. I regularly workout at gym already a couple times a week with weights and treadmill. I have gained weight in the last few years but don't look as fat as you would imagine (if I tell people my weight they are dumbstruck and can't believe it). However in the last two years my BP suddenly skyrocketed from normal range to danger zone and the medicine has side effects but does not seem to actually help the BP much!

I am up to around 4 miles a day now and have lost about 10 diastolic from my BP and would like to lose 10-15 more so I can stop using these damned medicines. However the time and especially the weather are a bit of a concern so I don't want to do more than I have to either. For me the only way to stick to things is to do it every single day, rain or shine or else I will eventually get sidetracked and get lazy on it.

So what is considered the range that is best for cardio where you get most bang for the buck? No idea how long my rides take and it varies a lot depending on weather so discussing the time taken is kind of useless.

Should I be shooting for 5 miles? 10 miles? If I go more than that then will it really make that much difference?

Any experiences you guys have would be a big help. Thanks.
IMHO, itís more about time in saddle than miles. 5 miles takes you in the neighborhood of 25-30 minutes I guess? Thatís a great start and youíre right, 60 minutes is better than 30, but only if itís sustainable for a *lifestyle*. Iíd hate to see you push it to 60 minutes a day only to fall off the wagon in a few months mentally and physically burnt out.

My recommendation is ride 3 days a week. One day easy and short, one day easy and a little longer, one day short and little faster. Set a schedule so you can plan ahead and gear up for that fast day or long day or relax mentally knowing the easy day is coming.

And donít think you have to hammer the whole way everyday. As they say, ride slower to get faster. Meaning, if you slow down, itíll be more enjoyable so youíll ride more often for longer distance and you wonít suffer mental or physical burnout... so in 6 months youíll be far faster and fitter if you just take it easy and hammer only on designated days, once every week or two.

Cheers,

Dan
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Old 04-11-18, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Well that's definitely not true. Some people have high BP even though they are skinny as a rail. Some of it can be weight related but I don't come to a bike forum to talk about diet tips and there's also people much heavier than me who have better BP. Being fat also increases your BP in a very specific way and I take a BP drug which works against that action (but is not doing anything for me).

If diet is truly 95% of physical health then there is obviously zero point to ride a bike in the first place. I don't accept that and have already seen that is not the case due to my BP decreases since I started daily bike rides.

As far as long hour+ rides go, endurance exercise is also a waste of time for cardio health. I also don't ride the bike to lose fat. I know from experience bicycle does virtually nothing for weight loss.
Sorry, but I respectfully disagree with a few points here.. Study after study shows that you can’t outwork a bad diet. Sure, exercise is great, but you have to run a marathon to burn off a 3000 calorie binge meal (just a nice big burger and a sundae). So in this way, diet is far and away the most important factor and is the necessary first step. Is it 95% of the solution? Well only for someone who eats terribly 95% of the time I suppose.

Not sure why you’d say long hour+ rides are a waste of time for cardio health. Sure, even 20 minutes a day of easy riding is a healthy habit and will add to an already healthy lifestyle. But going out for longer rides certainly has benefits.

Now, we can all agree that real science supports your assertion that BP is influenced by genetics but almost everyone can improve their BP to some degree with diet and exercise.

Last edited by RobotGuy; 04-11-18 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 04-11-18, 01:55 PM
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Whoa, interesting reply.

This is one of the dumber things I've seen on here.

Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
As far as long hour+ rides go, endurance exercise is also a waste of time for cardio health.
Are you sure that's not a typo? Do you really believe that endurance exercise is a waste of time for CARDIO HEALTH!? **I'm like a cow blankly staring at a fence post for how stupid this is**

Look at all those excuses. Hey, there's somebody fatter than you and with good BP, so skip science, experience, exercise physiology and the laws of thermodynamics!

Here's what you asked;
Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
So what is considered the range that is best for cardio where you get most bang for the buck? No idea how long my rides take and it varies a lot depending on weather so discussing the time taken is kind of useless.

Should I be shooting for 5 miles? 10 miles? If I go more than that then will it really make that much difference?

Any experiences you guys have would be a big help. Thanks.
And you're in a forum catered to us fat people. Yet you seem to think it's all some magical thing that just happens, food has nothing to do with it, exercise does nothing for cardio health (snicker) BP and health happens to some people and doesn't happen to others. Skip asking questions of people who have the exact same experiences as you and have dealt with the same issues you have and overcome those issues. What they hell do us dumb ass fat people know?

You might as well go to a Tarot card reading or something if you just want people to blow sunshine up your ass.

Have fun with those delusions.

Last edited by aplcr0331; 04-11-18 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 04-11-18, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
As far as long hour+ rides go, endurance exercise is also a waste of time for cardio health. I also don't ride the bike to lose fat. I know from experience bicycle does virtually nothing for weight loss.
Funny. Bicycling was the ONLY thing that lost me weight; from 215 or so down to 180-190. Diet would have helped, but I am weak and like beer. Kettlebells, weight training, etc? None of that helped. But bicycling carved my weight down.
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Old 04-12-18, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Well that's definitely not true. Some people have high BP even though they are skinny as a rail. Some of it can be weight related but I don't come to a bike forum to talk about diet tips and there's also people much heavier than me who have better BP. Being fat also increases your BP in a very specific way and I take a BP drug which works against that action (but is not doing anything for me).

If diet is truly 95% of physical health then there is obviously zero point to ride a bike in the first place. I don't accept that and have already seen that is not the case due to my BP decreases since I started daily bike rides.

As far as long hour+ rides go, endurance exercise is also a waste of time for cardio health. I also don't ride the bike to lose fat. I know from experience bicycle does virtually nothing for weight loss.
For me, diet and exercise sort of go together. During times I am exercising, I tend to moderate my eating choices.

FWIW, the time I did the best with weight management and health was a stretch of about 3 years where I worked out for 45 minutes to 1 hour every day at lunch. The gym was right next to my office, and I had a boss who was OK with my leaving the office to work out most days. The actual workout varied. Some days, it was weights, other times spinning, running on the treadmill or step aerobic, and other times, yoga.
But working out at lunch left me with little time to go out to lunch with work colleagues, and my lunch most days was a sandwich brought from home and maybe some fruit after the workout. Doing this routine, my weight dropped from 275 down to about 220, and I managed to keep it off for over 3 years.

You are correct that cycling alone doesn't do much for weight loss, unless you ride at a long enough and hard enough intensity to really burn some calories, and avoid eating it back later. And, short rides at low intensity are the cycling equivalent of a daily walk. Great for general health and wellbeing. Won't do much for weight loss. And that is the trick. I suspect there is something about cycling that really stokes the appetite. At least for me that is the case. On the other hand, I do see real improvements in my numbers year after year with regular cycling, so I do believe cycling is a part of a healthier lifestyle, but I don't believe it is the only part.

Back to length of rides. I don't know about you, but by the time I get my cycling gear on, pump up my tires, and check my bike, it seems like a waste to ride less than 1 hour. In general, rides of less than 1 hour are either recovery rides, or tuneup rides after being off the bike for awhile. Once I am in season, 90 minutes is about the minimum I do, and I don't consider it a waste of time.

I know it is time consuming, but that is what works for me. If I were looking for a quick workout that maximizes "bang for the buck', IMO, the gold standard is running, or maybe swimming if you have easy access to a pool.

Edit:
RE: diet and health. There is a lot of talk about this. There are people who eat crap and still manage not to gain weight. And, BTW, they sometimes pay the price, too. One of my good friends recently had a heart attack and found out he had advanced heart disease despite not being overweight. He didn't think his diet was especially bad because he wasn't overweight, but it wasn't especially good either. Too much processed good, too many fried foods. And probably some bad genetics thrown into the mix. And apparently, he had an abnormally low "good" cholesterol number, which maybe should have been a warning sign.

So, those of us who struggle with a weight problem might tell ourselves we are still healthy, and that might be true, but if you are struggling with high blood pressure you might be kidding yourself.

Last edited by MRT2; 04-12-18 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 04-12-18, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Oneder View Post
Well that's definitely not true. Some people have high BP even though they are skinny as a rail. Some of it can be weight related but I don't come to a bike forum to talk about diet tips and there's also people much heavier than me who have better BP. Being fat also increases your BP in a very specific way and I take a BP drug which works against that action (but is not doing anything for me).

If diet is truly 95% of physical health then there is obviously zero point to ride a bike in the first place. I don't accept that and have already seen that is not the case due to my BP decreases since I started daily bike rides.

As far as long hour+ rides go, endurance exercise is also a waste of time for cardio health. I also don't ride the bike to lose fat. I know from experience bicycle does virtually nothing for weight loss.
As others have said this post is laughable, especially the last two paragraphs.

Let's start at the top - you realise that weight is related to a "very specific" type of raising in BP, and you "take a BP drug which works against that action (but is not doing anything [for you])." So you have admitted that your weight is affecting your BP but you don't necessarily want to lose weight.

Diet is a huge part of losing weight. It wasn't clear to me that aplcr0331 was talking about general health or about weight loss honestly. Given that they mentioned "fat burning" multiple times in that post, I'm going to go with the idea that they were talking about diet being 95% of weight loss. Riding a bike is a good type of cardiovascular exercise, but we'll get to that later. It is, technically, possible to ride enough so that you are in enough of a calorie deficit to lose weight but I can assure you that your 28 miles a week is not going to do that. 28 miles a day might (which isn't something I'd recommend you do), but 28 miles a week won't.

Your point about endurance exercise being a waste of time for cardio health is perhaps the most amusing part of your post. It's just so exceedingly off the mark. Seriously, just google "endurance exercise cardiovascular health" - I'm not going to do the work of finding articles for you, just look at the first page of hits.

Going back to the question that is the title of your thread, is there a reason why you haven't asked your doctor(s) this? The only reasons I would cap my rides to 4 miles are if I flatted four miles in and didn't have a patch kit or a spare tube, there was a thunderstorm (I'll do rain any day, but potential lightning is my limit), I had a medical emergency, or there was some other sort of emergent situation that came up. If I were you I would be talking to my doctors about this and upping my mileage and decreasing the number of days I road. My schedule doesn't permit riding my bike seven days a week and I suspect my energy levels would go down if I tried (I also have other things going on that effect this). 10 miles 3 days a week would likely be more useful than what you're doing now.
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Old 04-12-18, 11:42 AM
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Somehow I missed the part about 4 miles/day. Better than sitting on a couch, but OP really needs to up that. Great he is seeing some gains, but in general, 4 miles of cycling is barely a warm up. 12 miles would be a reasonable goal to shoot for, most days, or if time is a factor, 12 miles 4 days/week, and some other type of activity the other 3.
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Old 04-12-18, 11:49 AM
  #20  
superdex
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4 miles at 12mph (let's be conservative, eh?) is 20 minutes. No wonder the OP thinks it does nothing. I know there are some BFers that 4 miles is a long distance -- and I praise them. Sounds like the OP is adapted enough to do more. So do more.

OP, stop thinking in miles and start thinking in time. You need to be out on your bike (since you picked a cycling forum) for an hour, at least

And since you're sensitive to the diet comments, what is your diet?

[edit] And what's up with asking a question and then being snarky and defensive with the responses?
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Old 04-12-18, 02:39 PM
  #21  
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I should note as well, I agree that for some people 4 miles is a lot, but I suspect the OP can do more at this point. If they can't they can likely certainly slowly up their mileage. I agree too that the OP should really be thinking in terms of time at this point, as opposed to miles.
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Old 04-12-18, 02:42 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post

[edit] And what's up with asking a question and then being snarky and defensive with the responses?
my guess would be slight ignorance of being new thinking that 20min a day is a magic pill because he owns a bike. Reality there are 1440 mins in a day, that 20 mins is only 1.3% of his day for that magic pill to work. Given he sleeps 9 hours a day, the 20min on the bike increases to 2% of the 15hours he's awake. Given he works 8 hrs a day, that leave 420 mins of his 900 mins to himself/family, 20 mins is 4% of his available time

for MEEEEEEEEEEEEE
I dropped from 265 to about 200lbs
riding 50-60mins a day at lunch 3-4x a week
PLUS 1 long ride on weekend aka 60+ miles or 3-5hours ish

AKA the magic bullet is time on the saddle and what you stuff your face with

I still ride the same regement 13yrs later
Full time job, 2 small kids, commute 2+ hrs a day in car...but I make time for ME...You can too
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Old 04-12-18, 03:57 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
AKA the magic bullet is time on the saddle and what you stuff your face with
Yup, more of the former and less of the latter!
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Old 04-12-18, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
my guess would be slight ignorance of being new thinking that 20min a day is a magic pill because he owns a bike. Reality there are 1440 mins in a day, that 20 mins is only 1.3% of his day for that magic pill to work. Given he sleeps 9 hours a day, the 20min on the bike increases to 2% of the 15hours he's awake. Given he works 8 hrs a day, that leave 420 mins of his 900 mins to himself/family, 20 mins is 4% of his available time
To your point, I was just reading this study that said that the one thing that correlates best with cardiovascular health in later years isnít eating, isnít working out... itís whether you have a desk job or not. The idea is that most people workout maybe 1-2 hours a week (if that) and it's just not a big enough % of their waking hours to overcome the sedentary lifestyle. Their data suggested that only really extreme workout kings / marathoners / body builders / etc can hope to overcome it.

They suggest that perhaps standing occasionally at your desk, walking while taking calls, plus diet and exercise can add up to big benefits, even if the exercise is moderate. But moderate exercise alone may not be enough if the other 99% of your life is sedentary.
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Old 04-12-18, 04:56 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
It's 95% diet. However, as one poster mentioned you'll want to do longer rides. Typically for max fat burning you'll need over 90 minutes and the longer (you can handle) the better your fat burning will be. As long of rides you can handle at Z2 (HR or Power). It will be tough, but that will probably give you the most benefit.


You're way over weight however, even if other people don't think you look like you weigh 300lbs...you need to trim that weight a great amount.


Good luck.
I would say 85% but I won't nitpick over a paltry 10%. Anyway, exercise is good, but modifying your diet can do so much more. I suggest adding Blackseed oil to your diet. That alone should have a measurable effect. Concurrently, cardio will enhance and sustain a good BP with continued time in training.
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