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Exercise. Fitness and a bit less of the fatness

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@DB, as for the Ramblers, I seem to remember from a Durham friend who used to be a member that they weren't a dog-friendly bunch.
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@Hells Bells, my dad takes his GSD on group walks in Northumberland; I think there might also be some closer to where you live.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/238848096153312/
Or if you go up to one of the Northumberland walks, say hi to Rocky!
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Well, as somebody who has shifted a lot of weight not so long ago, I have some basic advice.

Forget losing weight through exercise. One Mars bar is the same as approx 40 mins of jogging, which in itself is a quite efficient way of burning calories. Similar sums with a few glasses of wine show you that frankly you can't maintain the same diet as you are eating now (which is maintaining your current weight) and realistically put a dent in it through the gym. To do that you'd need to exercise for several hours every single day.

Eat less than 2,000 calories a day and you will lose weight. All other theories I've dug into simply achieve the same thing. Somehow or other they all use simple tricks to get you to put less calories in your mouth on average over a week. 5:2 diet is basically cutting your calories for several days, then two "cheat days" that kick start your metabolism again, then several days of cut calories. Same thing bodybuilders have been doing to prep for competition for quite some time, packaged as a new diet fad. Slimming World, Weight Watchers etc all offer a range of alternatives that give you lots of low calorie food (or you can obviously choose a small amount of high calorie food!) and you lose weight if you stick to it.

The less you eat below 2,000 calories a day the more you will lose. Personally I'd kick start by aiming for 1,200 a day, easily achievable using soups readily available from every supermarket now for lunch, and a sensible dinner of meat and vegetables in sensible portions. Once you start to see serious results you can up that to 1,500 and you will continue to lose weight.

My friends, while I was shifting serious weight, asked me how I was doing it, when we'd go out I'd eat "normally" but was still losing half a stone every month for months on end. Quite simply I chose to eat less during the week when I was more sedentary, easy to control what I eat at work, less chance to eat because I was bored, and then eat what I wanted for dinner within reasonable limits. I could quite happily go out for dinner and have a pizza, Nandos, eat chocolate, popcorn, drink beer, whatever I liked, but then Sunday night go back to sensible and stick with it all week.

Ultimately the exercise will make you feel better, and will make you fitter, healthier and probably happier, but it is dramatically easier to do a lot of exercise once you have your BMI under control. I probably did my knees quite a lot of damage running 10k when I weighed 18st, but it got easier and easier every month, because effectively I had to do less and less work to move my weight around. Stairs got easier, I can quite happily climb the stupid "do not climb these stairs" at tube stations instead of the lift, having done no serious exercise in the last 3 months. But that is because I weigh 90kg instead of 110kg or more.
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@Maireadoconnor, I know about the GSD groups. I've been trying to go on one for months. I assume Rocky is the dog? Laughing Laughing
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@Hells Bells, do you live in Belmont? I'm originally from Easington and often get off the train in Durham and cycle to my dad's place. There's a quiet national cycle route along the riverside, up the steep hill into Gilesgate, down Renny's path to Sherburn, Haswell etc. - all away from the busy main roads. I haven't owned a car for a few years and prefer practical touring type bikes that are capable of carrying stuff. Something like this would allow you to cycle to the shops as an alternative to taking the car. You don't need a sporty bike to get a workout and don't need to wear aerodynamic, close-fitting clothing.
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Hells Bells wrote:
@Nadenoodlee, I can also promise you that I will NEVER like running in the end. Really.


I can relate to this. I feel like this about swimming and riding a bike. I am fine with riding a bike for fun, but the idea of trying to really work out for extended periods on a bike to me is just hell. Pretty similar with swimming, I get really bored really quickly. But I can run, walk, even mix it up with a rowing machine, and can do weights all day.

Find fun and friendly classes you can do, lots of different sessions now run in public spaces by entrepreneurial local trainers, who realise it is better for them to have a class of 10 people 2-3 times a week at £5 each than to try and target one on one clients paying £50 an hour. If not that, walking is perfectly good exercise, you've just got to do a lot of it to get really fit. I would suggest starting with one hour walks at least 2-3 times a week to get started, the worst thing at this point after making this decision would be to pick up an injury that stops you from exercising more.
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@Digger the dinosaur, you seem to have the 5:2 diet confused with something else? 5:2 is 5 days normal eating but two days of very limited calorie in take (500 calories for is girls and 600 for men).
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@NickyJ, that actually sounds like the exact opposite
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@Digger the dinosaur, that makes total sense (apart from your description of 5:2)
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@Hells Bells, Laughing correct! The human is called Ross. I went on one of the GSD walks earlier in the summer; it was great! A bit weird being totally surrounded by massive dogs tho Shocked Also they have a fundraising cake sale after the walk, which might undo all of the benefits of the exercise!
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Hells Bells wrote:
@DB, the fat content of my diet could probably do with reducing, and the veg could probably do with increasing. And yes, the alcohol is probably a factor. I have not gained weight for quite a while, it has actually been steady for several years, but should be lower.


Eskimo's have a very high fat diet but are heathly. Probably because they don't have the body storing sugars/carbs as fat to control blood sugar levels.

Not sure the saying "you are what you eat" is 100% true esp with fat (e.g. healthy fats such as fish fat). Low fat often means the consumer eats 5 times as much of a low fat product before he/she feels full and still thinks they are eating healthy as it says low fat on the tin/yogurt pot. Customer is happy and the retailer sells loads more stuff, it's a win win situation all round wink

In the western world we are spolit with food, I suspect our digestive systems are no longer used to breaking down healthy fats but honey loops & nutella etc instead. Our blood sugar levels are all over the place and as a side effect fat is stored to cope with this.
I suspect the 5:2 diet trains our digestive system not to just rely on the carbs but on fat too. Our bodies then use our fat stores and don't crave the honey loops as much. We come realise after time that we don't need to stuff our faces immediately after the first pang of hunger.

Look at my "hangry link". People who get angry when they are hungry basically get to the point where the body would normally go to fat reserves but then their brain throws the toys out of the pram and it's "feed me, feed me NOW !!!"I suspect the 5:2 diet would be very hard for such people but extremely beneficial.

As for exercise, it's in the mind. If we really want to do it we will, if not we will find excuses while making it look as though we want to do it. (It is possible to swim in an old swimsuit and groups go walking with dogs too. ) There's no 5 min fix to get fit, exercise is a way of life - you like it or learn to like it or you don't. Finding an exercise that we like to do (e.g. Skiing, Walking, Biking, Badmington, Mud wrestling, Lingerie Football etc) saves us from the fitness hamster wheel of life and Zumba classes (unless like Boris you like wearing tight Lycra pants).
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@DB, I don't buy anything but natural yoghurt. Usually normal fat content as opposed to reduced, although the 0% Greek stuff isn't too bad. @DB, it is indeed possible to go swimming in an old swimsuit, but not possible to go swimming without one without being arrested. It was left at home, and I am here for another 2.5 weeks. I was pointing out the link to the Durham ramblers which excludes dogs. I am sure there are others. It wasn't an excuse. I can and do go walking with my husband at the weekends.
HONEY LOOPS? WTF are they? and I hate Nutella.
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Digger the dinosaur wrote:
... Eat less than 2,000 calories a day and you will lose weight. ...


That figure may be true for an average man, but is way to high a figure for Hells Bells.

There are many conflicting websites suggesting how many calories you need a day before you lose weight.

I'd have guessed that for her age, height, weight and activity level she'd be looking at getting below a daily figure of about 1250-1500 to begin to lose any weight. Best to seek professional advice if this is something that is important.
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You know it makes sense.
@Ray Zorro, exactly, which is why I need to up the exercise as well.
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@Hells Bells,

My weight is rarely stable - it is generally trending up or trending down. It's in one of the phases when it needs to start trending down again!

What I have learned is that whatever you do with diet and exercise needs to be sustainable for YOU. On the exercise front that means building exercise into your normal pattern of life. From what you have said about your like and dislikes you seem to have three options that COULD work:
a) increase the intensity of your dog walking - set a pace that raises your heart rate significantly and leaves you a bit puffed. Top on getting a HRM isn't bad but you could also just use a smartphone app to track progress on speed round your usual loops?
b) swimming - because you like it. I like swimming too but it is a bit of a faff to do frequently unless you have a really convenient pool. I've managed to swim 4-5 times a week at some times but only when it was very convenient
c) cycling - can be a great way of getting exercise into your day if you substitute it for car journeys. I started cycle commuting 12 years ago and it was a little nerve wracking at first but you quickly get a hang of it. You could consider doing some road cycle training (skills not fitness). There is a government book "Cyclecraft" which is the bible for safe cycling in traffic.

I find the calorie in bit harder but I find it is a downward or upward spiral. If I can get a bit of momentum when a bit more self discipline is having benefits then my morale and commitment builds. I always remember that one digestive biscuit or a glass of wine per day for a year is about 10 lbs of fat! Small changes sustained for months will have big benefits. I look for something I can cut out of my diet - e.g., no booze 3 days per week, no eating between meals - and eat "normally" apart from that.
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HR after swimming breast stroke for 25 minutes tonight was 118 bpm. I do like swimming, but only if it is easy to get changed and back home. Doing it at our apartment is easy, changed in apartment, cross car park, swim, back home for a shower. Going to the local pool is too much of a faff on.
I've cut down on the wine since April (outside of holidays of course) but there's absolutely no difference in my weight. It is exactly the same give or take a 1lb.
Commuting to work on a bike is not a bad idea, but it is too short a journey to make much difference (2.5 miles and 1.2 miles to both places of work). There is also no room to store the bike anywhere.
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Quote:

Commuting to work on a bike is not a bad idea, but it is too short a journey to make much difference (2.5 miles and 1.2 miles to both places of work). There is also no room to store the bike anywhere.


I leave a bike locked to a signpost most days. Can always put a cover on the saddle for rain although I don't bother.
Distance is a bit short but every little helps and you can start taking the scenic route etc.
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@Hells Bells,

Nearly everyone vastly under estimates what they eat in calories.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Wed 30-08-17 6:27; edited 1 time in total
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I think it's harder when you've been same weight for a while. And useless to do excessive stuff in terms of either exercise or diet. Some v extreme exercise suggestions in this thread ehich just don't sound like they're up HB's street at all. Push exercise up a bit (same time dog walking but faster). Change cooking habits a bit. Wee bit less booze. Take your time but don't delude yourself about calories in home cooked food.
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@Hells Bells, with the swimming faff, do you feel under pressure to get back to family life at all.

One of the bits of advice I was given was to be more selfish with your exercise needs. If there is pressure just take the time for yourself and enjoy your exercise if possible.

I run, it's very boring but you do get more bang for your buck and if I am not running in a group my Spotify play list is a godsend.
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She said..having just had an unexpected invitation to supper en route to my baby sitting commitment. Duck legs. Fat rendered out first and used to roast potatoes. Marmalade and Cointreau sauce. But huge pile of chard from the garden and watermelon for pud. 2 little weeny glasses of red wine. Yum. Am on bike between venues but all too close together to kid myself many calories have been expended. Slightly uphill ride against the clock so as not to be late for my son in law's mountain bike outing. He's 6'4" and skinny!!!
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A short initial commute is no bad thing as it will get you started without being too daunting. Twenty years ago, my each-way cycle commute was a mile. This then became six miles and is now twelve each-way. I still have the bike I bought from Dave Heron cycles, when he was based in Durham city centre. I think he's in Coxhoe now.



jedster wrote:
Quote:

Commuting to work on a bike is not a bad idea, but it is too short a journey to make much difference (2.5 miles and 1.2 miles to both places of work). There is also no room to store the bike anywhere.


I leave a bike locked to a signpost most days. Can always put a cover on the saddle for rain although I don't bother.
Distance is a bit short but every little helps and you can start taking the scenic route etc.
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Interesting thread. Have done the 30kgs weight loss thing when I cycled a lot. Then didn't ride for a year, ate the wrong stuff, and most went back on. Started up again a couple of weeks ago, I'm lucky that my commute is 15 miles and I can do it one way if needed, so an hour's workout on some hilly roads. Cut out booze totally, ( my big weakness) and am using My Fitness Pal. Hope to shift 20kg by mid Jan. Just need the goal of fitting in the nice ski pants! 6 hours a week on bike to start with, and I should be able to build to about 14.

When my coach had me doing Tabata I was fit, and rarely could get to number 7 or 8 without a decrease in effort, done properly they are seriously hard. I daren't do them on the road, too dangerous. Bergomaster was another nasty one, and don't get me started on Veronique Billat, nasty woman!!
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@Digger the dinosaur, Strange question, did I once buy a diving torch from you? About 10 years ago? Can't be that many diggers on the forums can there?
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pam w wrote:
Duck legs. Fat rendered out first and used to roast potatoes. Marmalade and Cointreau sauce. But huge pile of chard from the garden and watermelon for pud. 2 little weeny glasses of red wine. Yum.


I'm eating as I read this and that is making me peckish Happy
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I've just heard today from someone losing weight, that the big things to avoid are sugar, alcohol and caffeine (which negatively effects digestion).
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Old Fartbag wrote:
I've just heard today from someone losing weight, that the big things to avoid are sugar, alcohol and caffeine (which negatively effects digestion).


Caffeine seemingly boosts metabolism though (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7369170) - and surely if it negatively effects digestion that would just mean more food 'going through' rather than being used or stored in the body?
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clarky999 wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
I've just heard today from someone losing weight, that the big things to avoid are sugar, alcohol and caffeine (which negatively effects digestion).


Caffeine seemingly boosts metabolism though (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7369170) - and surely if it negatively effects digestion that would just mean more food 'going through' rather than being used or stored in the body?

I have no idea....the info came second hand. All I know, is that giving up caffeine was an integral part of the guy's regime/success.

EDIT. Apparently there is research that shows coffee can slow your digestion....but info seems confusing and contradictory.
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When people are trying to lose weight well-meaning health professionals all tell them to "find an exercise you like". Well, duh, you think they haven't thought of that? Some people just don't and will never find an exercise they like. As my (overweight but happy) mate Pauline says, "I've tried everything and I hate them all. I'm at work all day, I've got cooking, cleaning and 3 kids to sort when I get home. So if anyone thinks I'm going to waste the odd half hour doing something that makes me miserable they can f*** right off. A bar of Cadburys in front of the TV wins every time."

(I'm hungry now. What I'd like is a large glass of wine and a bag of nuts. What I've had is a large cup of rooibos tea Sad .)
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Hells Bells wrote:
Commuting to work on a bike is not a bad idea, but it is too short a journey to make much difference (2.5 miles and 1.2 miles to both places of work). There is also no room to store the bike anywhere.

It's not at all too short! (and that's coming from someone who regularly put in 50 miles on the weekend)

It's far better to do a little bit REGULARLY than to do a few "one off" exercise randomly!

2.5 miles translate into 5 miles each day. That doesn't sound quite so short, does it? Are those 2.5 miles on main roads that are far too busy? If so, you need to find alternative routes that are safer and hopefully more pleasant to cycle on. That might end up adding a bit more distance to the direct route. On the other hand, that might help to make the exertion a bit more worthwhile? Cool

As for the 1.2 mile office, how about walk there? Briskly?

It's impossible to overestimate the benefit of REGULAR physical activities. I used to cycle 150 miles on the weekend and 25 miles after work once a week. But lately, I decided to cut back on that so I can have more time for other things, such as reading a book! On the other hand, I work about 4 miles away, which I cycle to and back. 8-9 miles everyday (when it's not raining, too hot, too cold etc. rolling eyes ) works like wonders! When I do go out on the weekend for my 70 mile rides, I can feel the positive effect of those 8-9 daily milers. It's like there's no lose of my fitness despite not ridden long distance half as often.

My worthless opinion is, those daily "too short" commute bike/walk will do a lot more for your fitness goal than occasional hard workout.
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I think the thing with exercise is to really build it into your routine, so it becomes the new normal.

For me, its classes. I like them, find them interactive and a bit social and signing up makes me go and challenge me. Even if I'm feeling rubbish I go. Around 6 years ago I did my back. I never want to go back to that place and a lot of why I go is injury prevention.

My weight is creeping up and so am just starting on 5:2. Its not nearly as bad as it sounds.

Last year I found gum surgery to be an excellent way to loose weight!!!!
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@Digger the dinosaur is right that you have to find a way to reduce your calories if you want to lose weight. But the calories requirements for short women are MUCH less than 2000 calories a day. I just ran Digger the dinosaur and Hells Bells stats through a basic online calories calculator:
Digger: 2450 calories a day to maintain weight
Hells Bells: 1550 calories a day to maintain weight.

So, whist Digger will lose weight eating 2000 calories a day, quickly at 1600, Hells Bells would be gaining and maintaining at those calories levels. Suddenly a once a week cheat meal becomes a lot harder to incorporate with those kind of numbers. Ditto eating the same as your partner and family. So something that is easy to fit into normal life for one person becomes a depressingly punishing regime for another. Similarly, a bit of exercise might only get you an extra 100 calories a day, but if you are on 1200 calories a day just to lose less than 1lb a week, those 100 calories feel a lot more important. I think it's important to understand and accept that it is more difficult when you are short, but this is what you have got to work with.

Just making small lifestyle improvements isn't really enough when you are working with such small margins. It is so easy to make up the shortfall saved from not drinking the glass of wine by just eating a bit more (unconsciously). You need to track what you are eating.

My advice would be:
When you get home and are back in a normal routine, write down everything you eat for a week. As precisely as you can, i.e. weighing when at home. Just in a notebook, not directly into MFP, so you don't end up subconsciously changing what you eat. At the end of the week, enter it all into MFP, so you can see what your normal baseline intake is, and how many calories it is. Get MFP to work out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight. Figure out where you can make changes, don't be too drastic, but find away to cut your calories on average by at least 250 a day under what you need to maintain your weight. At the same time, gradually increase the length/intensity of your dog walks. You do have to be precise with the calorie tracking, as small overestimates will have a big impact. It is definitely worthwhile to cycle/walk to work if you can as well. Every small increase in calorie burn helps, and it's easy to fit into your routine.
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Hells Bells wrote:
@DB, I don't buy anything but natural yoghurt. Usually normal fat content as opposed to reduced, although the 0% Greek stuff isn't too bad. @DB, it is indeed possible to go swimming in an old swimsuit, but not possible to go swimming without one without being arrested. It was left at home, and I am here for another 2.5 weeks. I was pointing out the link to the Durham ramblers which excludes dogs. I am sure there are others. It wasn't an excuse. I can and do go walking with my husband at the weekends.
HONEY LOOPS? WTF are they? and I hate Nutella.


Nothing wrong in eating healty fats - I beleive low fat is a scam as explained in previous posts
Naturism wink
Maybe you have to up your walking intensisty (distance, elevation climbed) to get yourself fitter.
Honey loops = high sugar content breakfast cereal that gives such a sugar kick it has kids bouncing off the walls/ceiling.
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@Hells Bells, massive chapeau for being so honest on here! We'll do everything we can to help and get you out and about while you're here, good luck x
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Kelskii wrote:
A short initial commute is no bad thing as it will get you started without being too daunting. Twenty years ago, my each-way cycle commute was a mile. This then became six miles and is now twelve each-way. I still have the bike I bought from Dave Heron cycles, when he was based in Durham city centre. I think he's in Coxhoe now.


+1

When the kids were young and I didn't have as much time (nursey / school run / Nappy changing duties etc) I bought a cheap secondhand bike that I could leave locked up in public places without much risk of it being stolen. Biked to the tube station almost every day. When I eventually got round to getting on the mountain bike that season I wasn't far off my best time.

Am thinking about getting a high quality folding bike so I can train into work as usual but ride by the Blue Danube on my way home. Hofer/Aldi/Lidl/Amazon often do cheap folding bikes that are OK for short journeys.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 30-08-17 7:00; edited 1 time in total
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I went low sugar and low processed (despite thinking I already was). Nearly went bancrupt in the local organic shop (10€ for pine nuts) but after a week I lost a fair few lbs and was sleeping better and wasn't crashing for cake at 4pm

It helps that 'energy balls' are encouraged Shocked
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maggi wrote:
When people are trying to lose weight well-meaning health professionals all tell them to "find an exercise you like". Well, duh, you think they haven't thought of that? Some people just don't and will never find an exercise they like. As my (overweight but happy) mate Pauline says, "I've tried everything and I hate them all. I'm at work all day, I've got cooking, cleaning and 3 kids to sort when I get home. So if anyone thinks I'm going to waste the odd half hour doing something that makes me miserable they can f*** right off. A bar of Cadburys in front of the TV wins every time."


At least she is honest, not trying to kid herself and others.

Having said that recently went to visit my Mum & Dad (both in their 70's) in Spain with the kids. My Mum (mother of 4 Kids & full time worker) made the effort to keep herself fit (Yoga & Walking etc) and ate resonably well, my Dad has eaten badly and never exercised. He's no longer fit enough to make beach trips everyday. One day of shopping and he was finished whereas I went on short walks with my Mum and the dog.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Wed 30-08-17 9:31; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

You don't need a sporty bike to get a workout and don't need to wear aerodynamic, close-fitting clothing.

Indeed, the flappier your clothing, and the rubbisher your bike, the more of a workout you will get!

There is no excuse for driving 1.5 miles to work..... and 2.5 is a great distance for a beginner cyclist with a rubbish bike and flappy clothes (sort of distance I like)
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@abc, yes, the 2.5 miles is on very busy roads, although nothing compared to London traffic.
There's no cycle path between home and there unless you count the short stretch along a dual carriageway which is the main route from the motorway. We have 2 dogs to let out at lunchtime which is why I drive so I can still go home. I don't need sporty cycle clothing to get there, but I would need to change into work attire, and not be hot and sweaty on arrival. Cycling home at lunchtime does double the exercise difference to 10 miles not 5, but I wouldn't have time to let dogs out, eat my lunch and then get changed back into work clothes again at the other end. And right now, I am probably not fit enough to manage the steep hills out of the city home in a short time. Walking it would increase the time considerably.
@KenX, my honesty is because I really need to do something about it and stop procrastinating. I know that there are probably others on here feeling exactly the same.
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@Hells Bells,
The dogs are quite a commitment. So I think you have to make a virtue of that and turn the dog walking into proper exercise. Seems to me that is the only way you are going to make exercise a normal part of life?
ski holidays     



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