Could Stationary Cycling Be the Answer?
My Knees Hurt...My Heels Hurt...And I Just Started An Exercise Program!
If this is you, stationary cycling may be your answer. I'm feeling your pain. There's nothing worse than finally getting motivated to start an exercise program and then being shut down by physical ailments. I can't tell you how many women I've talked to who've had the same experience. They're pushing 40...or 50 and the weight is creeping up and suddenly they get all jazzed to start exercising and get the weight off...and then one day they wake up and can't walk...it just hurts too bad.
Well, it happened to me and I'm here to tell you, it doesn't have to happen to you! If you're thinking of starting an exercise program in order to burn fat and lose weight, you'll have to do some pretty strenuous walking, running or aerobics to get there. The problem with these three are the stress they put on your joints and feet. If your overweight, the stress on joints and feet increases dramatically. This all adds up to a greater likelihood of injuries, but it doesn't have to be. Instead of choosing exercises that require slamming the pavement and stressing the knees, why not try stationary cycling. I don't have anything against actual cycling...it's just that in order to get on a regular exercise routine, you are going to need to have something that doesn't fail you when the weather turns bad. Besides, stationary cycling is a whole lot safer than dodging cars on the side of the road.
Here's a excerpt from an article in artritistoday.org:
Be a pedal pusher and strengthen your heart, hips and knees.
"Bob Fietsam is a convert. He used to be a runner, but for the past 15 years, 77-year-old Fietsam of Belleville, Ill., has been waking up early to for stationary cycling before going to his accounting job. He has kept fit without pounding his joints like he did when his exercise of choice was running.
“I’ve lost 30 pounds, I don’t feel pain in my knees anymore and I am able to play golf again, which I couldn’t do when I was running,” he says.
Fietsam, who has logged more than 100,000 miles, the equivalent of four times around the world, says his routine works well for him. He points out he can use the indoor bike year-round in his snowy Illinois hometown, he doesn’t have to dodge cars on the street and he can listen to the radio or watch TV during his rides. And Fietsam credits the cardiovascular benefits of stationary cycling for giving him the stamina to continue working well into his 70s.
There’s no question that indoor cycling is an excellent way to get a cardiovascular workout without stressing weight-bearing joints, says Matthew Goodemote, head physical therapist at Community Physical Therapy & Wellness in Gloversville, N.Y. It’s also a good option for people with balance problems, he adds, because there is no need to lean the bike to turn. “People with osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who become inactive because of pain often develop balance problems, so they are less likely to injure themselves on a stationary bike,” he says.
Want to start a routine? Go for it, but start stationary cycling slowly, perhaps with a five-minute session at a comfortable pace three times per day, says Goodemote. “Once people can ride with no pain for five minutes three times a day, I bump them up to seven minutes, then to 10, 15 or 20 three times per day, getting them to 30, 45 or 60 minutes of exercise per day. Initially, adding five minutes seems like a big jump, but once tolerance builds, larger gains are made in shorter time frames. Down the road, people can more easily add 15-minute increments to their rides." (see note below)*
I swear by this exercise...it's strenuous...burns tons of calories...isn't reliant on the weather...doesn't require a gym or an instructor...keeps my feet from hurting...and preserves my knees! The key...and I mean absolute key...is having good workout music. I don't find I burn nearly the amount of calories if I try to watch TV or read while working out. I have to have some heart pumping music to keep me going. There are plenty of sites that provide free workout mixes that will keep you revved up and burning. I've lost 20 pounds by cycling, and tracking my foods, and I strongly recommend this exercise for everyone, especially those who are over 40.
Yes, I'm hoping to build a more beautiful you, starting at the feet and moving right on up. Your health and stamina is an essential building block to being the beautiful you, you've always wanted to be. Don't forget to pamper yourself after your strenuous workouts with a wonderful home foot soak, message or pedicure!
*footnote:"Benefits of Stationary Cycling." ArthritisToday.org. Arthritis Today Magazine, Sept. 2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2010. .
Article on the Benefits of Stationary Cycling