Getting a new bike? Easy. Getting in shape? A lot harder. Be kind to yourself.

A friend and customer wrote me this morning, following a weekend with beautiful weather.  My reply to him follows his note.

On Mon, April 16, 2012 11:03 am, wrote:

> I like the bike [Volae Tour] but do not like hills.  A physician friend mentioned
> decreasing muscle mass in old folks.  Still, I’ve got to drop 15 pounds to
> give myself and the machine a fair shake.  That loss would, on hopes, be
> fat and not muscle.
> Thanks for the advice.

Hi T_D_,

The best hills are the ones with a view (which means they’re the high ones).

Be kind to yourself, always.

View yourself as a “beginner” athlete, at the start of a new athletic career that you want to last for decades.

Ride/exercise well within your abilities, of technique, of your muscles, of your heart and lungs.  Take it easy.  Ride so you always have enough “breath” that you can keep up a conversation.  The trainer’s term for this is “conversational pace.”

On hills, shift to low gear and take ALL the time you need.  Ignore the riders around you.  Walk up hills if you feel any discomfort.  If you feel pain, stop, rest, relax, hydrate (water).  As you ride, over the months and years, your muscles and cardio will improve and you’ll be able to do more.  Also, right now and over the years, you’re getting to know yourself in a new way; listen to your body; let it tell you what it can and can not (yet) do.

Stretch after every ride.

Lose 15 lbs?  Okay.  If you’re serious, I recommend Weight Watchers.  My sister did it and got great results.  Follow the program, be disciplined, and you’ll get healthier.  Forget about losing weight, focus on being healthy and your weight will move to the correct level.

Eat lots of fresh veggies, fruits and nuts — broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, salads, fruits, nuts :-).

All best,

# # #

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

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