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Strength & Flex
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How good is cycling for fitness

I am going to take up bike riding as although I have not ridden for years I used to love it when I was younger. Although I do have back problems I still think this will help me in the long terms especially with fitness and becoming more flexible. Just want others opinions on how I should proceed.

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Cycling is great, but depending on the effort you may strain your back.

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Thank you for your reply. Will consider this but make sure I rest and stretch.

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The best form of fitness activity is the one you actually do regularly and enjoy so that sounds a great idea, especially as it is low impact (and there's no 'per use' cost either, and gets you out in the fresh air) If you are not over-ambitious to start with, little and often, and give yourself time to build up, it should be great. Please don't forget to wear a helmet!

I'm not sure cycling will do anything particularly positive for back problems or flexibility, other than perhaps help you lose weight if you need to. But you can easily add in other activities for that - you've posted on the Strength and Flexibility forum so you could look at that ie the NHS Strength and Flexibility podcast programme.

I have found short, focused yoga very helpful for easing back pain (I started with Ekhart Yoga on YouTube) and now do 10 minutes every morning for strength, flexibility - and calm, and it seems to be preventative.

I love my bike - although because of my own health difficulties mine is electrically assisted (but that only kicks in when I pedal)

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a good steady pace when cycling is a cert to help the weight drop off ..give it a week and see how you feel

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Thank you for the encouragement

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Make sure to offset the effects of the curled-up position with a proper hip flexor stretch and Brettzel (look both of them up on YouTube) after each cycling session. With a bad back, mobilize your upper back a LOT so you lower can stay safe and stable.

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thought you might like this?

If you want a story of how much you CAN do, consider the case of one man in Yorkshire, a father-of-two, who weighed 23.5st. and was a size 44 waist when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in July last year. He persistently ignored the warning signs, so when he was finally diagnosed, his blood levels were the off the scale. After a month on medication, his blood readings levelled out and he had the energy to take control.

He decided to control his condition through healthy eating and exercise instead. Already a keen cyclist, he starting riding his bike everywhere. He now weighs in at a much lighter 16.5st and has a size 34 waist. His blood sugar levels are the same as someone without diabetes and he has been taken off medication. So things CAN change. You can read more of his story at :

hulldailymail.co.uk/rode-23...

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Thank you for that encouragement!

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You are welcome

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Sounds like a plan - and if you find it isn't beneficial for your back - at least you will have got into the mindset to exercise and can find something else to suit.

Good luck to you.

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I'd find a cycle path so that you are not too bothered by traffic, to start with. Find a route and use it for a few sessions to a get a feel of how much you can do. You can then use this to measure your fitness: how you feel and how long it takes you to get round each time. Good luck.

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