Friday, September 16, 2011


My doctor has finally okayed some exercise for me, but limited it to bike riding and an elliptical machine. I have an uneasy relationship with elliptical machines. I can't get both sides to move evenly with two good feet, so I can't imagine it working any better with one good foot and one that still tires easily. That leaves the bike. I have rejoined the Y so that I can use their exercise bikes in the hot, muggy weather, but now that it has gotten cooler outside (89 is cooler than 99) I've been riding around outside as well.

I'm surprised that I have not been able to find a comparison of stationary exercise bikes versus regular bikes as a means of exercise in all my Google searching. I have found comparisons of recumbent exercise bikes and upright exercise bikes and of exercise bikes versus elliptical machines, but the only comparison of exercise bikes versus regular bikes I could find was a discussion on a forum that included a lot of opinion and speculation and nothing resembling scientific input. Discussion centered mostly on which one you were likely to stick with and use longer rather than which one gives you a better workout.

The problem I have with bike riding as a form of exercise is that it is not weight bearing. I can understand why my foot doctor sees non-weight bearing as a good thing at the moment, but I also get the impression that his goal for my exercise program is weight loss, while my goal is strengthening my thinning bones. Not that I am averse to losing weight; I have lost over ten pounds since the beginning of the summer. I just don't want any of that lost weight to come from lost bone density. I think the discussion about how much weight I can lift at the grocery store is going to have to come before how much I can deadlift, but someday I am going to have to tell him I like lifting weights. 

The other problem with bike riding as a form of exercise is that it is boring. Exercise bikes are boring even when I sit there reading my Kindle while pedaling along going nowhere. Riding my Schwinn around the subdivision is boring because I know the territory. When I can get to new and different places to ride, I really enjoy it, but right now I'm boxed in because almost every main road in the area is being torn up and widened, and while sheer terror might do a lot to raise my heart rate, that's not the good kind of raise my heart rate. The one road that is not being ripped up scares me because right where I'd cross it, traffic is coming across an overpass and visibility sucks. Once the weather cools down a little I can probably persuade hubby to drive us and the bikes to nearby parks with bike trails. 

Then I can save the Y for when it's raining.

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