April 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Keep fit with bicycling

These days there are far too many people who are overweight. A lot of this problem doesn’t have to do with the type of food they eat, but with simply eating too much food and not enough exercise. Exercise builds muscle, and that helps you burn the fat. Eating less than normal will also make you lose weight but when you are getting close to a healthy weight it will become harder to further lose weight without exercise. Here building muscle helps you reach attaining but also keeping a healthy weight.

Bicycling is interesting in that there are a few things that help a cyclist stay in shape even if he is not an avid cyclist, nor someone who rides for competitions. Just cycling means that you will quickly notice that if you are overweight, namely when your belly is in the way. This is more noticeable when you are riding in a sporty, aerodynamic position, but even with upright cycling you notice it. This means you are reminded of “I’ve been eating too much” and then have 2 options: 1. Ride more, 2. Eat less, and of course another, no. 3. both (1) and (2). Going uphil is another situation where you are reminded of the weight!

With just staying at home and going to work with a car or public transport, there is often the possibility of doing less and less actual effort if certain things get difficult, such as going up stairs. Why don’t people stop eating when they notice their belly wobbling when walking up stairs? I used to be about 8 kg overweight at one point, and I hated this. It happened in a period where my bicycle needed repairs and I didn’t do them as I didn’t really need to ride. But there was a 2nd point, at that time I ate too much as the meals I got were prepared by a relative who liked to eat more than I do. I didn’t say anything at first but I felt it was too much each time. When I bicycled a lot this didn’t matter at all and I didn’t gain weight. But it sure did make me gain weight quickly when I didn’t ride my bicycle! So I fixed my bicycle and started riding again, not particularly long distances, about 10 km or so, and I told my relative that I didn’t want such large meals any more, and within no time at all I lost that extra weight…

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There are a few issues at work here at the same time: People eating for comfort or taste, and at the same time not doing any exercise. This is also why you are seeing lots of children overweight these days which was an extremely rare sight in my youth. Children play computer games rather than play outside these days.

The way to deal with this is to force yourself to do some work. I do this for example visiting nearby relatives by bicycle and going to supermarkets by bicycle. I don’t buy much at any one time, for a few days at most, and I like variation so I visit multiple supermarkets. All of this means fairly short trips of 7 to 10 km to a store and the same distance back home, but many times a week. This way I can eat whatever I want and I stay in shape.

I watched some documentaries on ‘Food deserts’ in the USA which is a really weird concept as the distances that people need to travel there to be considered in a ‘food desert’ is less than what I ride daily by bicycle for my groceries and it costs me no effort at all. Such distances more or less force you to ride longer distances that keep you fit! People there should not complain about supermarkets or stores with fresh food being far away, but instead buy a cheap bicycle, and ride to such stores every other day. If that happened, a lot of the health problems should be reduced. You need to have some character, but you can also force yourself to do this using your preferences as I do with wanting variation in food from different stores that have different foods/brans, to make yourself do enough exercise each day.

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That is very important these days as not just children are playing on computers, adults too, with watching TV, playing computer games, even gambling such as PlayAmo login which means there is little exercise for many adults. If not bicycling, then go for long walks, walk up stairs instead of using lifts, etc. Set yourself goals in what you can do each day, and in discovering stores far away that you explore and that will give you goals to walk or to bicycle to.