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SHAMELESS PLUG. USBHOF.ORG. Aging 101 For Cyclists. Bona Fides. I’m old myself I’m a cyclist myself I’ve been the son of elderly parents I’ve been the son in law of an elderly person I’ve had a ton of elderly patients I’ve actually been to speaking school!. Bike for Life.

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Shameless plug



Bona fides
Bona Fides

  • I’m old myself

  • I’m a cyclist myself

  • I’ve been the son of elderly parents

  • I’ve been the son in law of an elderly person

  • I’ve had a ton of elderly patients

  • I’ve actually been to speaking school!

What is a realistic goal for aging
What is a Realistic Goal for Aging?

Century at 100 years of AGE????


Staying out of the Nursing Home during your last decade on this earth.

Healthy aging best case
Healthy Aging: Best Case

  • Assume no Diabetes, cancer, stroke, C.A.D., COPD, heart failure etc.

  • No morbid obesity, compulsive eating

  • Normal aging v. disease

  • What are the minimum changes even the healthiest persons will have to deal with?

These will happen to healthy persons
These will happen to healthy persons

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Body fat changes

  • Visual impairments

  • Bone density loss

  • Dental changes

  • Tendon & soft tissues changes

  • Skin & hair changes

  • Loss of aerobic capacity

  • Hearing impairments

  • Decline in balance

  • Mortality (may be delayed)

  • And much more

Why is falling i e from a bike so bad for the elderly
Why is Falling (i.e. from a bike) so Bad for the Elderly?

  • Bones break more easily

  • Bones heal more slowly

  • Blood vessels break more easily

  • Old skin is not so tough

  • Hip fractures can be fatal (esp in 90’s)

  • Brain atrophy creates room for serious mischief

Putting off the inevitable
Putting off the Inevitable

My suggested goal:

Protect the quality and financial cost of your last decade by ACTIVELY maintaining your physical and emotional health.

(not for sissies…this takes effort and perseverance)

Basic adls activities of daily living
Basic ADLs (Activities of Daily living)

These needed to stay OUT of the Nursing Home

  • Personal hygiene and grooming

  • Dressing/undressing

  • Self feeding

  • Transfers: bed to W/c, on/off toilet

  • Bowel and bladder management

  • Ambulation (Walking w/o assistive devices)

  • Housework/Shopping (lift 25 lbs)

Resist the nursing home
Resist the Nursing Home!

  • Exercise all the time

  • Eat carefully, with a plan (avoid dieting)

  • Promote your emotional well being

  • No place for passivity here: you’ve got work to do

Maintaining physical health
Maintaining Physical Health

  • Aerobic exercise (e.g. cycling/walking)

  • Alter cycling style to match your abilities

  • Walking/ weight bearing exercise

  • Resistance exercise (e.g. weight lifting)

  • Stretching

  • Control body composition, avoid “over fat”

The cyclist devolution
The cyclist devolution

  • Standard Bike

  • Recumbent Bike

  • Adult Tricycle

  • Wheel chair

When to consider a recumbent
When to consider a recumbent?

  • Your neck/back are in pain with standard bike

  • Your pain is better with a more upright position, but you are frustrated by poor aerodynamics

  • Genital numbness/erectile dysfunction

  • You want less risk from falls (height matters!)

When is it time to get off the bike
When is it time to get off the Bike?

  • You give up the car keys

  • You are taking a serious anticoagulant

  • Major orthopedic problem (temporary?)

  • Major illness (temporary?)

  • Poor balance

  • You have started to fall a lot

  • Be thinking about this AHEAD of time

Reorienting our exercise thinking based on long term goals
Reorienting our exercise thinking based on long term goals

  • Culturally we are biased toward “training for events”. Some of this is still OK.

  • Now we are training for the rest of our lives, and we are training older bodies.

  • This makes a whopping difference in how we approach things.

No junk miles
No junk miles

  • “junk miles” implies that exercise that does not build toward a short term goal is valueless.

  • Any exercise (any miles) burns calories and stimulates muscles

  • Junk miles beat No Miles every time.

Weight lifting muscle building
Weight lifting/muscle building

Older person’s goals

Young person’s goals

Short term time frame

Muscular physique: this may by the only goal

Bone strength secondary

Not a serious consideration

Technique: hi wts, low reps

Exercise endpoint: push until failure

Joint protection: incidental

  • Time frame: rest of life

  • Muscular physique: nice but not critical

  • Bone strength: critical

  • Activity protection: critical

  • Technique: low wt, hi reps

  • Exercise endpoint: predetermined plan

  • Joint protection: critical

Weight lifting for older folks
Weight lifting for older folks

  • Low wt dumbbells (5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20 lbs)

  • High reps: 20 to 50 (not 8 to 12 killers)

  • Never add more than two reps.

  • Stay with new routines for a LONG time

  • Alternate days with two routines

  • Maintenance is not a four letter word


Shoulder protection
Shoulder protection

  • Cyclists should focus on upper body, torso and low back (legs will take care of themselves)

  • All upper extremity exercises impact the shoulder.

  • The shoulder is intrinsically fragile

  • AC joint, Gleno-humeral joint, rotator cuff, long head biceps tendon, all at risk.

Shoulder protection1
Shoulder protection

  • Avoid sudden increases in work load: much time needed for soft tissue adaptation

  • Avoid exercises with loads of mechanical disadvantage (flys with elbows extended)

  • One exception

  • Avoid extremes of range of motion

  • Avoid the “impingement” position

  • Avoid “body weight” exercises unless you have carefully built up to that level

More shoulder protection
More Shoulder Protection

  • Don’t isolate the vulnerable gleno-humeral joint (stressful on the rotator cuff)

  • Do make use of the scapulo-thoracic joint

Watch the total shoulder stress
Watch the total shoulder stress

Reps x set x lbs lifted = Rep-lbs

30 reps x 4 sets x 15 lbs = 1800 rep-lbs

22.5 reps x 4 sets x 20 lbs = 1800 rep-lbs

16 reps x 4 sets x 20 lbs = 1280 rep-lbs

Maxine s tips for elderly weight lifters
Maxine’s tips for Elderly Weight lifters

  • Start low and go slow

  • 2. Always practice safe sets

N engl j med 2011 364 2392 2404
N Engl J Med 2011;364:2392-2404

  • Foods most assoc with wt gain: sugared beverages, potato chips, potatoes, meats

  • Foods inversely assoc with wt gain: yogurt, vegetables, whole grains, nuts

  • Caloric Density and glycemic index make all the difference!

Focused eating for maintenance
Focused Eating (for maintenance)

  • Focus on what you need and like to eat

  • Focus on selections high in fiber and water

  • Minimize refined carbohydrates (white stuff)

  • Make sure you eat all the foods every day

  • This will crowd out cheeseburgers

  • Eat as much as your exercise will allow

  • Depravation will always boomerang

Calorie deficit day
Calorie deficit day

Data for Man, age 65, wt 170lbs, ht 5’10”

  • Basal needs (sedentary) 1950 Cal/day

  • Walking 2hrs @ 4mph: 780 Cal

  • Cycling 3 hrs @ 15mph: 2340 Cal

  • Total calories spent: 5070 Cal

  • Less consumed in diet: 2000 Cal

  • Calorie Deficit: 3070 Cal

Emotional hygiene
Emotional Hygiene

  • NOT mental illness: major depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, substance abuse, food addiction

  • Emotional Hygiene v. Mental Health

  • Common sense emotional work, doing the things we know we ought to do.

  • We need to be Proactive about this, not passive

Emotional hygiene1
Emotional Hygiene

Care and Feeding of your social network

  • Networks deteriorate /renew all the time

  • Many stop renewing, and squeeze remaining network for all emotional needs….and get push back

  • One needs to plan on this and be ready

  • Cultivate younger friends if possible

  • Often easier for women, the gregarious

Emotional hygiene2
Emotional hygiene

  • When one door closes, YOU open another

  • You might as well be interested/interesting

  • Seek an emotional life independent of spouse

  • Don’t rely on old habits. Cultivate new ones

  • Avoid isolation, especially if life partner dies

  • Make yourself suitable company (think about what others need)

  • Exercise your sense of humor

My humble suggestions
My Humble Suggestions:

  • Cycling specific considerations

  • Suggested Routines

  • Grooming of the social network

Cycling specific considerations
Cycling specific considerations

  • Stretch lower exty muscle groups regularly

  • Strengthen low back and core musculature

  • Strengthen neck, arm, wrist extensors (upright bikes especially)

  • No need to spend time on Lower exty strength unless you want to.

  • Balance cycling with a wt bearing activity, esp walking (with weighted day pack)

Suggested routine for cyclists
Suggested Routine for cyclists

  • Resistance exercises: rout A on MWF, rout B on TTS, rest Sunday

  • Walk three times/week: MWF

  • Bike three times/week TTS

  • Rest Sunday

  • Stretching: daily six sessions per week.

Maintaining the social network
Maintaining the social network

  • Work on this all the time

  • Be especially attentive if you suffer an emotional / social loss

  • You need to replace the loss ASAP

Shameless plug


Don’t worry about being dead.

Do worry about how you get there.