Monday, August 6, 2012

Is Riding Unhealthy?

Today, during lunch, I walked down to Ballaine Lake. For anyone reading this blog regularly will recognize this small lake as it has shown up many times but I thought that it was especially pretty today. No retouching, that is the actual color this afternoon. This is just a tiny lake north of the university along the bicycle path with a nice little picnic area on the north shore. 4.43 miles round trip from my office according to the Nike+ app.

I really need to get out and walk a lot more. Back in March and April I was getting in a couple of hundred miles per month and I was even considering entering the Equinox Marathon again. Since May (and the bike coming out of storage) only about fifteen miles per month. So should my conclusion be that motorcycle riding is bad for my health?

22 comments:

Dar said...

Noooooo! I think motorcycling is good for your health, particularly mental health. I think if you rode off road it would give you more of a workout than street riding. I read a study about dirt biking how if you ride for 2 hours off road it as the same benefits calisthenics or running.

BeemerGirl said...

Well...the answer has got to be yes, and no. I'm with Dar. It may be bad for physical health, but you cannot discount mental health!

It's so difficult to do the "right" thing when the weather is nice and all you want to do is RIDE.

SonjaM said...

If I can't walk one day, I try to make it up the next, well at least that's the plan. But I agree, with all those distracting activities like riding (or paddling), I haven't put in the walking I used to do in winter and spring. Let's go out at lunch time more often, what do you think?
That doesn't mean that motorcycling is bad for your health... mental health does count, too.

And the picture of this blue mirror lake... nicely captured.

Bluekat said...

Gorgeous, deep blue!
I've got to get back to our routine of walking. 100 miles per month - That's Awesome!
I agree with others - motorcycling is good for the mental health! That's important too! Toss in a nice walk with your ride and you have a perfect all-around routine for physical and mental well being! :)

Keith - Circle Blue said...

It is good to have a full life. Yep, with that comes choices. I know I can't fit everything in I want and need to. So much to do and so little time. What's unhealthy is having nothing to do, sitting in front of blue screens all evening, and becoming a hunk of despair. For every thing there is a season. Enjoy the ride while you can, get in some walking, and really hit it when it's season returns....unless of course, you get a sidecar rig. Then all bets are off.
~k

Unknown said...

Richard:

some people are unable to walk great distances, so it may be riding or nothing.

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

I think the shorter riding season may have something to do with it as well. In the winter, I would occasionally walk 4-5 miles for a cup of coffee in the morning.

I can believe the difference with dirt riding burning a lot more calories. I don't think another bike will show up here in the near future.

RichardM said...

Mental health? I'm still at a university and that may counter any benefit you would get from any activity. ;-)

Last night, I went to an Airhead "meeting" at the local micro-brewery and it was great to see the others (plus I took the really long route to get there.

RichardM said...

I think that the lunch time walks are definitely the key as I am not really inclined to have lunch. Twice a week, there is a university sponsored walk so it's usually a small group and I can get in a good 5 miles.

While on my trip, I only got a couple of good walks for the whole month.

RichardM said...

I really like the color of the water at that time. And I walk past that lake a lot...

The best part of riding seems to be the immediate dismissal of everything else that may have happened during the day. Maybe I should walk to the coffee stand this morning...

RichardM said...

There is a tempting sidecar rig for sale in town right now...

After a couple of weeks in Barrow and my road trip, I think I've gotten out of the habit of staring at blue screens. I just need to make exercise a priority again. After all, I can't complain about the weather up here this time of year. It isn't hot like many other places. (40's to 60's).

RichardM said...

After I had injured my back (a very long time ago) I couldn't walk for months. Part of my recovery was bicycling as it was easier on my back than walking.

Trobairitz said...

The blue lake in that picture is gorgeous. So bright.

We haven't been walking as much either. There seems to be so many things to do now that the weather has warmed up. Maybe just not enough time to ride and to walk. We need more hours in the day.

Martha said...

Beautiful photo, beautiful lake!

I say Yes, riding can be unhealthy. I have not been walking or riding my bike much at all. It just happens. I think anyone who has trouble walking should strive towards some sort of physical exercise as sitting is not an acceptable form of exercise.

RichardM said...

Today, I decided that I was going to walk the Equinox again. I need some sort of goal and this is probably just what I need. If anyone has no excuse its probably me.

RichardM said...

Thank you! I loved the lake that day.

I really do enjoy walking and maybe now after my road trip, I am trying to walk a lot more than before. I don't look for any excuse to take the bike...

The bicycle is a different story. I still have the studded tires installed.

cpa3485 said...

Well I have to say that walking has substantially helped me recover from my heart problems. That said, also know that there is a mental as well as a physical aspect to my recovery, and, well... Riding has been part of my mental recovery for what I think are obvious reasons.
Then a few years ago my chiropractor told me that riding, (either bicycle or motorcycle) is good for core of your body because it helps with balance issues. I believe her.
I suppose in life, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, etc is the best way to go.
Jim

RichardM said...

The title of this post was a little facetious but the thought behind it was genuine for me. It seems that I always need to make a choice between riding and walking. My commute is only a bit over five miles so I could easily walk or bicycle every day but I usually opt to ride in. Fortunately, walking at noon is generally still an option.

But you are right that balance is important and seems to be a challenge as I tend to get obsessed with one thing or another.

Martha said...

Oooo. You ride your bike with studded tires? Awesome! I guess they do that in WI, too, but it sounds much more heroic in AK.

There is a blog that I lost...it's about an AK bicycle club and they have those huge fat tires. They ride in all kinds of snow. Do you know what blog I mean? If not, I'll go looking for it.

RichardM said...

I don't ride it a lot and mostly just around campus last winter. This is the first time I'm trying studded tires and you really do have pretty good traction. I don't know of the web site but there are a lot of bicyclists up here who ride all winter.

VStar Lady said...

Richard, that's one thing I made sure I did the whole 10,500km trip - I stopped early enough almost every day to swim or walk for an hour or two. If I didn't I got very antsy (you may have noticed) it's a great stress reliever, combine it with a good ride and life is perfect and healthy - who needs a gym!

RichardM said...

I found that once I got somewhere, I was thinking more about resting than exercising. Though in several stops, I would walk for a couple of miles to either a restaurant or a grocery store in the evening. Along the Alaska Hwy, most of the campgrounds were pretty self-contained. RV park/campground/store/gas station/restaurant/motel all in one.

During the normal workday, I get pretty antsy if I don't get out for some sort of exercise in the middle of the day.