Friday, February 17, 2012


I have discovered a wonderful way to exercise with out really feeling like I am doing much of anything. The following article from Science Daily has offered me an alternative to Sweating to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. I find this very doable and easy on my body and joints.

"ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2010) — The usual excuse of "lack of time" for not doing enough exercise is blown away by new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

The study, from scientists at Canada's McMaster University, adds to the growing evidence for the benefits of short term high-intensity interval training (HIT) as a time-efficient but safe alternative to traditional types of moderate long term exercise. Astonishingly, it is possible to get more by doing less.

We have shown that interval training does not have to be 'all out' in order to be effective," says Professor Martin Gibala. "Doing 10 one-minute sprints on a standard stationary bike with about one minute of rest in between each sprint, three times a week, works as well in improving muscle as many hours of conventional long-term biking less strenuously.

This less extreme HIT method may work well for people (the older, less fit, and slightly overweight among us) whose doctors might have worries about them exercising "all-out."

Sadly, my fitting the above description in parentheses to a T,  I gave it a whirl. Considering all weather conditions, this would be ideal if you have an in-house stationary bike but my house is too small for that.

When I came to Arkansas and realized I would not be zooming up and down these steep hills on my bicycle, I was quite crushed. I love to bike.

So as a poor substitute, I bought a trainer for my bike so I could use it as a stationary bike on my porch. Most bike shops carry the trainers.

For the past couple of years, I have periodically peddled to nowhere on my porch. I rode like I was on the road at a fairly leisurely pace while watching my neighbor's cows graze. It was peaceful and not in the least strenuous so I am sure I was doing no good besides breathing fresh air.

 According to the article, I could ride for a total of 10 minutes and get the benefits of riding for 30?? I do love a bargain so I thought I would give it a try. I can do anything for a minute.

During my one minute sprints, I imagine I am being chased by a pack of pit bulls and really haul hiney. I do feel the burn in my thighs, especially during the last 15 seconds but the 60 second rest between sprints is quite rejuvenating. I use a simple kitchen timer to keep track.

Have I lost a ton of weight?? Well it is still early in the program. Do I feel better?? Quite frankly, I feel a LOT better, especially right after the exercise. It is quite amazing.

Until I get into a bit better shape, I am doing two 10 minute drills, twice a day. I will work up to the 20 minute drill. This has no impact on my joints and because it is not prolonged, it is less stressful on the older, out of shape body I live in.

Will let you know if I turn into a 90 pound powerhouse. This is hopefully my last FYI for February.


  1. This is marvellous, Patti! We call these bikes:"hometrainers". I had one, but gave it away. I thought I was using my bike more, but when it rains or when there is a strong wind blowing, I don't like cycling any more.Once such a wind caught me and blew me down. Fortunately I didn't break any bones. Still it was a warning. Maybe I should achieve a "hometrainer"again!

  2. My bicycle was stolen about 25 years ago and I never felt the need to replace it. VT is the beautiful Green Mountain state, but I think it is a royal pain place to ride a bike. I am looking for a used bike to keep here in FL though.

  3. I've been thinking of buying a bike to add to my fitness routine. They have stationary bikes at the Y if I wanted to do one of these things, too. I'll give it a try, it does sound like it would be worth giving it a whirl, as they say! :-)

  4. When I needed an exercise bike for physical therapy I picked a very old, very small one up at a thrift store so we would be able to take it in the RV when we were finally able to leave my mother's house after breaking my knee cap. We hauled it in and out of the rig for several weeks until the knee was good and then gave it away as we couldn't keep it inside and it became a PITA to haul around. But I felt better for using it. Good luck and I'm glad to hear you're feeling the benefits already.

  5. This is wonderful news. Sometimes the day flies by and it is hard to get time to workout. This is perfect!

  6. Very interesting. I. Would like occasional updates on how this is coming along.

  7. This sounds like it would be easy on my husband's knees. Don't think the small seat on the bike would be fun to sit on, though. Lol. Let us know your results after a month of doing this type of exercise, Patti.

  8. I don't have a bike and probably won't be getting one any time soon...BUT, I am really interested in your progress, my dear....I hope you will keep us informed....It sounds really wonderful!

  9. Patti, I think it is too late for me. I have a handicap placard for my car because I grow breathless if I walk for 100 feet. However, when I am coming and going from class, I am energized and walk much further to and from class. I have never figured it out.

    Perhaps we need a destination. Hence stationary bikes don't do it for me. We have an Airdyne upstairs I bought when I had my heart attack 10 years ago.

    PS sorry about the photo. If you want to see it send me an email at

  10. Wow that looks good. I sure need to get into shape. In a few months I'm going on holiday with a group of fit healthy people who will be trekking round the countryside and I'm going to have to join in. I really could do with that bike!

  11. Wow I take my hat off to you. I have never ridden a bike balance ...and I have never seen any thing like this...I once had an excercise one but got rid of it a I rarely used it...maybe I shouldn't have.lolxx

  12. Pedaling to nowhere on the porch sounds a lot better than in the basement! You have a nice view and can feel the sunshine! :-)
    I do sprints up the stairs... but I don't think that's enough to help me lose the weight I'm trying to shed. LOL.

  13. Well now if I could only convince myself to move away from my bed! After all the recent activities around me I have slipped into a bit of a lull and seem to waste time doing a lot of nothing. I must get moving because as you state it will help me to feel good! THANKS. the treadmill will get a workout today!

  14. Reader Wil,
    I remember you writing about that fall. You don't get far on a trainer but it doesn't throw you off.

    Do get one. Florida flat land biking is what has me spoiled. You will love it.

    It really can give you a work out when you sprint. Kind of a mild version of spinning.

    RV Vagabonds,
    RVing really does cramp your style in what you can carry around. You have to make the space count. Glad it helped with your recovery.

    As long as you sprint, it can give you a pretty good work out. I don't know though, you are used to much more vigorous biking.

    Thanks, I will update at a later date.

    Actually that is a pretty big seat, not like those fence rails the racing bikes have. It really might help your hubby, it has helped my hips.

    So far it has helped my breathing. I was huffing just getting the mail but now am much stronger. I will probably follow up.

    Like I told Naomi, it has so far helped my breathing.
    I wonder why I wasn't able to see the picture. Maybe it is my seach engine. I use IE. I'll check back to see if it is working now.

    LLCool Joe,
    Oops, good thing you have time to get in shape. Sounds like a fun trip.

    I don't care for the in-house ones for it really is boring. I like this for it goes quickly. It really does make me feel a bunch better.

    Welcome to TNS and thanks for commenting. Hey, if you are running up stairs, you don't need a bike. Just keep trying, that is all we can do.

    Kleinste Motte
    It is so easy to stop moving. I was getting to be a bit of a couch potato myself. As the advertisement says, "A body in motion tends to stay in motion" and the reverse is so true.

  15. Hi, I just came across your site from Confessions of a Grandma. I really like it. I don't have a bike but like your's. I love walking but it's sometimes hard on the knees. I jog or walk in place on a small trampoline set out where I can watch the garden grow. I works great for me.
    I'll be stopping back by your place often.

  16. You'll have to let me know how it turns out, I'm one of those out of shape overweight older ladies myself!

  17. Good for you. I've been a bit afraid of trying to ride a bike again. I have bike in the basement that would allow me to stay in place and get some exercise. My husband has been going down and using it a bit. I think the bike is good because it builds up the quads. Are you walking also?

  18. Way to go! We got a personal trainer in 2000 and the best thing she taught us was to alter the method and speed of the workout. According to her, research shows that the body adjusts to certain training modes and the effect is lessened over time. Doing intervals or sprints fools the body into working more efficiently.

  19. That's great, Patti... I'm SO proud of you. We love to walk (and take pictures as you know)--so that is the best exercise we can get here.

    George used to bike everywhere --but once we moved here, he found the hills around here too steep and hard to manipulate... So--he gave his bike to his daughter...

    Glad this is working well for you...

  20. Yeah, I read about this training. It is tempting, but so outta' the box. But outta' the box is sooo nice....

  21. Sounds doable and that's a real bonus. I believe I shall join you as soon as this ugly medicine is out of my system. Hey you....Wanna drag??????? Oma Linda

  22. I think high intensity works but please remember not to hold your breath which can raise blood pressure to dangerous levels. Often at high intensity, people begin to strain and don't breath evenly - this is bad for the heart. (I learned this from my physiologist in cardiac rehab.)

  23. Now I'm wishing I had a bike. We have a treadmill for my mom, but I can't be motivated to walk on it. Thank goodness she does.

  24. laveta's place,
    Thank you so much for making the trip and commenting. My hips are why I like the biking. No impact on joints. Welcome and do come back.

    Welcome to a not very exclusive club. I sure will.

    Retired English Teacher,
    I do walk but not a much as I would like. I have to drive to a safe place--neighbor's pack of dogs make that necessary. I have a treadmill but don't use it like I should.

    NC mountainwoman
    Thank you. You have reaffirmed their theory. That makes me feel that it is an accepted belief.

    I know what you mean. I used to love to bike but these mini mountains take all the fun out of it. You and George get lots of exercies with all your hiking. Keep up the good work.

    I guess that "out of the box" is what attracted me. I love "new" ideas and theories.

    LInda in NM
    Yes, get that nasty medicine out of your body and feel better soon. Ha, since I am older, I get a 10 second head start:)

    Fortunately being out of shape, holding my breath is not an option. Sucking air is. You are so right though and when I do my back exercises, I do watch that. Thank you.

    Your mom is smart. If you don't use it, you will lose it. I use a treadmill also but the bike is easier on my joints. Besides, you are in training for your big race. That is more than enough.

  25. Now that's a great idea. Let us know if it works!

  26. Thanks for the lol about my typo. cursing! I went back to it and found myself laughing. I decided to leave it but added that you had discovered my error. Some how I think cursing and that big floating hotel in the background seemed to fit. Ironically the snap was taken from the back of a small tour boat that shows the wonders of the tides in that bay! It ebbs and falls 14ft, more than any other tide in the world.

  27. Awesome! That's an excellent idea - keep it up and keep those pesky pitbulls away from your heels!

  28. Just writing to tell you that the Marlins pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter this week and I can't wait to go see them.

    I'm thinking maybe you can take that trainer off your bike and ride down here to cheer them on to a great season.

    Don't get mad but I am a Phillies fan ,born and raised in Philly, but I am also loyal to my Winter home Florida team, and have a terrible conflict in Summer when they play each other for REAL!

    Here's to a great Season!!!!

  29. Southwest Arkie,
    I sure will. So far, so good.

    I Wonder Wye,
    Ha ha, so far I have out run them. They are no match.

    Kleinste Motte
    Ha,I wish I had been the one that caught it but I think it was Djan.
    I slid right over it and it looked good to me.

    Oh you lucky lady, I am so envious. I did get to go to one game at RDS with my sister who lives in Jupiter Farms.
    I know your problem, I used to go to the Dodger farm team games in Vero and got rather attached.
    I am really excited about this year and can't wait. Hopefully we can at least give the Phillies a scare. The Phillies are just so darn good but we are finally building. Have a great season.

  30. I love this, Patti, thanks! I have a very ancient stationary bike that some customer gave my husband on a job. Due to lack of space, it sits outside and I use it in the summer. This fall my hubby covered it real well with a ton of plastic bags.So I will not be able to try this until spring. But I will try it then.

  31. Patti,
    What a phenomenal idea....I too like to bike and don't mind biking outside but I'm truly a fair weather gets a bit cold and I'm hibernate indoors...keep us posted!

  32. Thanks so much, Patti, for this post! I really needed to read this. I have an old stationary bike gathering dust in a far corner of the basement. I'll get it out and clean it up and give this a whirl. If anyone ever fit the description in the parentheses, it is me!! The new treadmill is not getting the workout it should, so maybe the bike will help. Keep up the good work and let us know how it goes!

  33. Interesting...but I'm sticking with walking my dog. My boredom tolerance is quite low for in house excersing and the GSD's penchant for trouble keeps me "interested." :)

  34. That's interesting, Patti. Let us know how it works for you.

    By the way, there's an award for you on my blog :-)


  35. Maybe I didn't read closely enough, but this bike setup doesn't hurt your knees? That is why I don't walk anymore....that and my feet and oh ya know.

    Glad you thought of this. It sounds like a good way to burn some excess and to add muscle.

  36. I don't love exercise. My sweetie rides a recumbent bike every day, but I'd rather play basket ball.

  37. Inger,
    So far it has been effective and fairly enjoyable. Hope you pull it out this spring.

    I try to catch early mornings and sunsets. Cold makes me peddle harder. I will do a follow up later.

    I think you will enjoy it. I alternate with treadmill one day and bike the next. I was getting bored with the treadmill also.

    My neighbors free roaming pack of pit bulls prevent Mighty and I from walking outside the fence. A safe place for him is at least a 10 mile drive. I envy you, dogs do make exercise fun.

    Wow, thank you so much for thinking of me for the award. I am so very flattered.Yours is one of my favorite sites.

    Thank you for stopping by and welcome to TNS.

    Amber Star,
    Since it is no impact, it is easy on the joints. My sister-in-law has had a knee replaced and can ride about 10 miles every day in the nice flat lands of Florida. Also, strong muscles help to support a weak joint. I have bad hips and it doesn't bother mine, infact it helps.

    Mom of 12,
    An enjoyable sport beats the stew out of monotonous exercise. You go girl.

  38. This is just the thing...and I like, and may adopt, the approach. Good for you -- and keep us updated.

  39. Hi Patti,

    This is so cool. I really like the "trainer" on the bike, because you can still use the bike if you want to, and it doesn't have to sit in the house as a clothes hanger.

    I think that I might give this all a try. I like your imaging tool also, being chased by dogs. You probably have more experience in out-running them than I would, with your old job and all, but I can still picture that, lol.

    Thank you so much for your visits and comments lately, I really do appreciate you.


    Kathy M.

  40. Until they come up with an exercise to be done in a lazyboy chair - I am destined to be fat, dumb and lazy.

    Illness, however, proves to be an effective program for me. During January's illness, I must have lost a few pounds. The belt I put on today was fastened two notches smaller than the last time I wore it.

  41. Oh my goodness, you can make a real bike in to a stationary one - amazing. I have a bike I may get one of those trainers, when it's raining or too cold I could still "ride" ,thanks so much, just brilliant.

  42. Jerry,
    It is easy and effective. Will let you know.

    Oregon gifts,
    I do like the duel purpose. You could always peddle away from bears. What ever inspires you.

    As hard and as long as you work, you don't need machines. Way to go on the vanishing inches.

    Linda Starr,
    It saved me putting it away somewhere to gather dust. Most bike shops have them. Good luck.

  43. Wonder if this would work for a stroke survivor? I am going to print your post and get my therpist's opinion. I would have to strap my foot on the petal, but so what. Riding my bike on our screened porch would be a delight. Staying on the bike might be a safety issue but, hey!, hope springs eternal. Thanks for sharing this.