Hi all, my name is George Barlow and this is an introduction of sorts to cycling/physical therapy blog posts. The main topic of this particular blog series will be bicycle riding and exercise. As a physical therapist, part of my role is to promote exercise and an active lifestyle. One of the difficulties is exercise can be hard work, and can be boring. One solution to this is to turn exercise into a hobby. This is exactly what I have done; riding a bicycle is so enjoyable to me, that I barely remember I am burning over 1000 calories on a 1hr. 30 min ride. Seattle is a great place to take advantage of bicycle rides as there are bike lanes, and pedestrian/cycling only areas such as the Burke – Gilman trail or the Lake Washington loop.
I will provide a personal example to further explain the benefits of cycling and low level exercise. In addition to my Doctorate of Physical Therapy, I have a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Sports Science. My hobbies include competitive cycling, racing in the mountain bike discipline. I have applied many years of education to my training and to my lifestyle. I commute on my bike to work each day, it is about 18 miles round trip and takes approximately 35 minutes each way. Recently, I decided to wear my heart rate monitor to work and determine how efficient I am on a leisurely bike ride to work. I say leisurely because on hard training days my average heart rate is around 175 bpm which is approximately 85 – 90% of my max hr which is maintained for around 2hrs. I was really surprised to see that I burn about 400 calories on my one way trip to work with my average heart rate at 119 bpm. That is about 55% – 60% of my max heart rate which is a moderate level of intensity. This is an example of lifestyle awareness and how it can promote a healthy BMI, low body weight and maximize fitness and health. Hiking, biking, and casual walks for 1hr. are great moderate levels of exercise that can be enjoyable and very beneficial in terms of calorie expenditure.
Thanks for reading all; our next topic will be the importance of proper fit on a bicycle.
George Barlow, DPT.