Cycling to loose weight..suggestions?

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Cycling to loose weight..suggestions?

Postby sunlife2002 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:49 pm

I am looking to get into biking as a way to get healthy. I am what one would call obese, so I have little stamina but I am strong and I believe biking would be a good choice for me. I also have some knee issues and have heard that biking is a good exercise choice for people with this issue. My question is how to get started. Meaning, how often should I ride? How long should I ride for? Flat surfaces or all hills? I dont want to injure myself or burn out either. I am currently riding an old Raleigh from the 1960's so it's not the most up to date bike. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Re: Cycling to loose weight..suggestions?

Postby dougnlis » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:01 pm

This might not be the best forum for you.

You can probably find many other sites where people with experience and expertise can address your questions better than you will find at a place devoted to a single organization's annual rides.

But with that said I will attempt the easy answers. Assuming you have no outstanding health issues aside from weight (ask your doctor), the best way to get started is to start. The best way to avoid injury or burn out is to avoid riding in ways that hurt or are not fun.

So, no, don't ride a bunch of hills just to be riding hills. That will hurt. No, don't seek out long, flat places to ride. That will get boring and won't be fun.

You have a bike, so start riding it to close places where you would otherwise drive. Like, places you would drive five or ten minutes to reach. Just walk or bike there instead of driving. That's how to start. Just start.

And an "up to date" bike won't move you toward your goal any faster than what you have. Get your current bike checked out and lubed, and then start riding it. With a good helmet on your head.
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Re: Cycling to loose weight..suggestions?

Postby riding2live » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:24 pm

I started riding 5 1/2 yrs ago at the age of 59, 3 years after a open heart 5-way by-pass. I started on a comfort bike here in Eugene and was in an apt. on the river trail by Valley River Center. I started out and 5 miles on a bike seat was a killer but I kept at it every day. Quickly found that padded bike shorts help but time in the saddle is the best. I stayed on the river trail for a month building my distance then started venturing out about town. A month after that I was riding to Coburg and Junction City. I just started making it a daily habit. If your stamina is a problem you'll need to increase your time riding a little at a time, you'll know by how you feel. Also, you'll need to calculate how many calories you're burning (there's websites that can help with that or even a bike computer) and reduce your intake to help with the weight loss. By the next summer I rode my first Century (100 mi.) in Rogue River. I've done Cycle Oregon the last 3 years. In Feb. '06 I flew to Texas and rode across most of Texas with a guy ( longer an active site) who was riding cross country (Las Vegas to Florida). He started out at around 400 lbs and was down to 300 when he finished (about 5 months with holidays and family emergencies). Just stay with it and it gets easier and easier. Don't worry about the hills---you can work out just as well on the flat terrain. Instead of struggling up a hill just go faster in a higher gear and get your cardio that way. It's a process and will take time. It's New Years Day----make a resolution and start first thing in the morning if you haven't already).
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Re: Cycling to loose weight..suggestions?

Postby leisure1 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:21 pm

It is an excellent choice for getting into shape and losing weight. At least it is for me. But in the end you will be the one that answers if it is right for you. You can choose how hard to make your workouts. In the beginning I signed up for Cycle Oregon on February just to force myself to train. That was 20 years ago. These days I can’t imagine not riding – I suspect my body would seize up if I stopped. I agree that you should stick with the old bike for the beginning until you decide where you want to go with it. I ride a recumbent for long rides (ultimate comfort) and a cross bike for training on hills (super cardio) and commuting.
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Re: Cycling to loose weight..suggestions?

Postby Force 5 Robert » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:58 pm

Last year I actually rode less miles and focused on overall fitness more. My rides were primarily interval training particularly on monster steep hills. CO week 2010 I rode my 36 lb trike and had the best week ride of all my CO trips to date.

Still, I was not satisfied with my overall fitness level. I ended CO last year at 204lbs. Yikes. This last fall I started doing CrossFit and cycling for interval training only. As of today, 4.5 months after starting CrossFit and riding less "overall" miles, I am at 184 and change and feel in the best shape ever. My goal this year is to do more of the same. If I don't have even a single century before CO I am not really worried. Riding a recumbent helps too - all day comfort comes standard and there is no "acclimating to the saddle" LOL
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Re: Cycling to loose weight..suggestions?

Postby cheneyt119 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:35 pm

I have never been injured cycling, except when I crash (3x in 20 years) so it is as safe as anything you can do IMO. I was always injured running until I had back surgery and quit running after the 1999 Seattle Marathon.

There was an excellent series of articles last year in Bicycling Magazine that detailed some examples of obese people that lost it cycling. They start slow and work up and they don't quit, in a nutshell. I wish I could give you a reference but go to the library and skim through the tables of contents and you'll find them.

As to bike I'd recommend something reliable with big tires to start. If your bike is like that, then have at it. I never had any reliability problems until I started riding race bikes, ensure the brakes work properly. If you find your bike isn't doing the job consult Craigslist, but make sure you pick a frame that fits you properly, that's the most important thing.

My sister is morbidly obese and it kills me to see her diminished capasities, diabetes, self loathing and I'd give anything if she'd ask me what you just did. I wish you the best of luck on your journey
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