Walk or Bike?
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Thread: Walk or Bike?

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    Walk or Bike?

    I am 60 and contemplating some needed physical activity. 20/25 lbs. over weight. Have had serious quadricep serparation surgery on one leg 3 years ago. Weight has been added since. Live on isolated rural gravel roads that are in good shape and 0 traffic for miles. Which would be better exercise for me fairly strenuous walking or biking? I am thinking 20/30 minutes per day of either and am leaning toward tahe bike. Haven't been on a bike since childhood.



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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    I began biking for the purpose of getting some exercise, and now I love it. I bike all the time. Even ride Ragbrai.
    Biking is actually enjoyable exercise. I never thought it possible.
    Less stress on your knees too than walking or running!


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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    I would imagine biking is 'easier' given your injuries but strenuous walking should burn more calories in a shorter time.



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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by swiacy View Post
    I am 60 and contemplating some needed physical activity. 20/25 lbs. over weight. Have had serious quadricep serparation surgery on one leg 3 years ago. Weight has been added since. Live on isolated rural gravel roads that are in good shape and 0 traffic for miles. Which would be better exercise for me fairly strenuous walking or biking? I am thinking 20/30 minutes per day of either and am leaning toward tahe bike. Haven't been on a bike since childhood.
    Biking will be easier on your joints (less impact). If the gravel roads are in good shape like you said then a mountain-style or hybrid style would work well. Road bike tires are too narrow for gravel (they get kicked around by all the pieces), but the wider, knobbier tires on mountain and hybrid bikes (as compared to road) don't get pushed around as much by gravel. I road my cheap-o Target mountain bike on gravel roads near my house many times in high school and didn't have any stability/balance problems from the rock.

    I'm not sure what you consider "good condition" for gravel roads, but here's what I would look for when considering riding a bike on gravel roads. I'd prefer to have hard-packed gravel rather than fresh stuff that hasn't been compacted yet. Also, having some smoother areas from where wheels travel would be nice. Not ruts, mind you, but "strips" that are smoother than other portions of the road. I'd also prefer to have reasonably-sized gravel. Smaller pieces won't kick tires around as much.



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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    I biked until I lost enough weight to where I felt comfortable. Then I switched off every night.



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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    Biking will be softer on your joints.
    Walking is probably better in a sense that you are actually bearing your body weight, thus strengthening your joints.
    That said, they are both good forms of exercise. Another great form of exercise is swimming or water aerobics.


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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    I'd probably do a little bit of both to vary the exercise.


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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    Both.


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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    I bike on paths mostly. Now in shape I ride fast and love it. When I walk I usually take my dog. The neat thing about biking is you cover more ground with the opportunity to see more wildlife. I listen to my music and consider this as my time...to think about family, business.... one of the best parts of my day.

    Buy a good bike at a shop that can fit you appropriately for your needs.

    Z


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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by zach View Post
    I bike on paths mostly. Now in shape I ride fast and love it. When I walk I usually take my dog. The neat thing about biking is you cover more ground with the opportunity to see more wildlife. I listen to my music and consider this as my time...to think about family, business.... one of the best parts of my day.

    Buy a good bike at a shop that can fit you appropriately for your needs.

    Z
    This!
    And Des Moines has a great trail system!


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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    gravel roads are great for walking/jogging. I stopped jogging when I moved into a town because me knees and hips started hurting- I bike on weekends now and love it, but I lost 50lbs one spring because I ran on a gravel road.



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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    I prefer to run because I think I get more out of it for the time I put in. But, with your quad history, you might want to talk to a PT or your regular doctor before doing either.



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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    Both. It will give you a great workout for all the muscles in your legs. Having just gotten off of physical therapy to correct a muscle imbalance due to all my leg workouts being either on a rowing machine or actually rowing, I can't emphasize enough the value of doing both. That being said, start walking now, and take the time to pick out a good bike that fits correctly and you will enjoy the biking much more.


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    Re: Walk or Bike?

    Thanks for all the good opinions/advice. Our gravel roads are pretty hard packed due to the low budget allocated by the County for road maintainence and the subsequent shallow depth of gravel. Its pretty comparable to a light oil&chip road once it drys out and the farm semi's hit it a few times. Due to my daily farm activities, I get some walking done so its not like I am standing in a factory or sitting behind a desk all day but my walking consists of jaunts between pickups, 4wheelers, tractors, combines, semi's etc. so it is not very strenuous. Farming is not the physical activity when I grew up or started, in fact our tractors guide themselves by satellite. Someday my role in agriculture may be fazed out!



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