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Exercise & Fitness
Spinning: Good for the heart and muscles, gentle on joints
About the Author
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
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Dear Dr, i am having atriall fibrillation, pulse about 90 per min, im on pradexa 150mg bd and metformin 500 mg bd, i dont have major sypmtoms, i can walk for 1 hour, my question can i spin, if so, how much pulse rate can go up.thanks
I absolutely love spinning. Originally, I took it on after having burned out my body with extreme race walking and marathons. I have my own bike and watch videos on utube to have encouragement. I am recovering from my 2nd hip replacement in two years and had knee replacement 10 years ago and expecting my other knee to be replaced sometime this year. I am 60 and did years of damage thru race walking and tennis, mega yardwork and countless other things because I thought I was invincible. Now I am also looking at my diet and eating an antiflammatory diet to see if this will help for the future, like my hands and arms (I swim laps in the summer). I love how strong my legs look and feel after spinning and how strong my lungs are. It is an endurance and endorphin thing for me, obviously, as my past history proves.
It is not true that spinning is good for people with knee problems. I have osteoarthritis of one knee due to a cartilage injury e.and have been to physical therapists and all of them tell me I cannot use an exercise bicycle – except for a recumbent one with very little movement of the knee joint and spinning requires much more than that. I didn’t have to be told anyway – I know what pain I will have if I use a bicycle. I would “love” to do spinning but this exercise would be impossible for me to do. Recumbent bikes do not allow for the necessary exercise or work out. To some degree they do, but not nearly like a normal spinning bike does. It is the movement of the joint for me – I cannot bend it and unbend it continually without pain. (No, I do not need a joint replacement. My injury is in such a way that I am still quite functional but I have to avoid riding a bike, for sure.)
I’ve always heard that these types of exercises are gentle on the joints, however, I’m 73 years old and am unable to do spin class, the eliptical or anything else that causes that kind of movement because of rather severe pain in my knees. I have some arthritis but have never had an injury to my knees. I am able to do intervals on a treadmill with varying inclines at a speed of of 2.7 mph for 2 mins and 1.8 mph for 2 mins for a total of 60 minutes. I do this 3 times weekly and train with weights for 30 mins after. Strangely, this never hurts my knees during or after.
5 minutes standing ride twice a day
I can always find an excuse to skip the gym, so I have an airdyne in my house now. I ride four or five times a week to music. I am 67, with arthritic knees, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself!
I too find spinning hurts the knees, but an exercise bicycle e.g. a Matrix does not. I think it’s the inertia of the flywheel, that the pressure to continue or work against the inertia is the painful part. But indoor cycling on a Matrix machine is a joy.
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