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I was taught to do some walking or cycling when I am stressed or anxious. However, I can't seem to go way farther than 2 miles. I get really exhausted and all cramped easily. Or is this just at first? How far have you gone cycling?

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My wife and I have been marooned in the US since Feb, looking to return this mid-Feb.  Lots of stress from trying to return several times, but deterred by wife's illness, then a positive covid test just before scheduled departure in Nov.  To relieve stress, I walk 3 miles a day each morning, then another 2 over the course of the day.  To help take my mind off of things, I listen to podcasts which I download over my home wifi before setting out.  There are hundreds of different podcasts, so finding one or five that suit your likes shouldn't be difficult.  Science Rules, New York Times The Daily, Washington Post Reports, Planet Money, Sway, This American Life, Sway.......among many of the popular ones (on my list).  As an added bonus......having done the 3 mile walk each morning since around May, I've dropped 10 pounds.

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I should add to my above post that I started out in Feb last year doing a mile each morning and built up to 3 miles by May.  Having a smart watch helps as it tracks my activity, heart rate, and I can measure stress when I like as well.  The smart watch is my personal trainer.....well worth the money.  I'm 70.

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50 minutes ago, Jillie Norman said:

I get really exhausted and all cramped easily. Or is this just at first?

I used to run 10km a night down the gym. I stopped and went back 10 years later. Could not walk for days after a 3km run. Fair to say, if you have not been active for any time then it takes time and effort to get used to it. One thing I would say is the biggest battle in using a gym - is getting there. Same as getting off you bottom and getting out the door.

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12 minutes ago, bkk6060 said:

Sounds like dehydration drink more water before you ride.

That could be a good point. Not wishing to appear rude, but are you reasonably fit, or have you had a fairly sedentary life so far?

I started cycling again just over four years ago at 58. Initially I cycled around our village a few times, then 10km to a friend's house, had a rest and a chat before cycling back home.

I hope you manage to find out what's causing the problem, and get to enjoy cycling.

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1 hour ago, Jillie Norman said:

I was taught to do some walking or cycling when I am stressed or anxious. However, I can't seem to go way farther than 2 miles. I get really exhausted and all cramped easily. Or is this just at first? How far have you gone cycling?

You didn't mention your age and whether you have other underlining aliments that prevent you from doing what you want to do with out being or feeling exhausted, going to a local gym where you the comfort and other option of machines to exercise on could be a better way for you to build your strength...

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1 hour ago, Jillie Norman said:

I was taught to do some walking or cycling when I am stressed or anxious. However, I can't seem to go way farther than 2 miles. I get really exhausted and all cramped easily. Or is this just at first? How far have you gone cycling?

Morning

 

I am back from my daily 20 KM ride; I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of cycling to reduce stress and/or anxiety!

 

Yes, I think that you need to work your way up to longer rides, but from your post I am not sure if this is the issue.

 

Some thoughts...

  • Are you starting in relatively good shape? As with the posters above, your starting physical health might be an issue
  • Is your bike a good quality one? Is it properly sized? If your bike isn't the proper size and/or fit, then it can cause awful aches and pains (I am guessing that this is your main problem)
  • Do you stretch before cycling? After cycling, do you 'warm down'? Depending on your current physical state, this might be an issue.
  • How long have you been cycling? If it is just a week or two, then...
  • Do you cycle in a good place? I cycle here on Samui's main road at 4:45 AM, thus avoiding people, cars, potholes, the heat, etc. It allows me to permit my mind to wander and drift into the 'Zen Zone' which wipes away any/all stress/anxiety
  • Do you actually like cycling? Or, do you think it is merely a good idea? This might sound like a strange question, but unless you genuinely like doing it, then it won't relieve stress/anxiety

As above, my guess is that you are using the 'wrong' bike. Is there someone who is knowledgeable in your area to ask? Or, if not, then look on-line to see if your bike is the proper size for you.

 

Good luck! If you get sorted, then cycling is a truly wonderful way to start your day.

 

Cheers

 

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I cycle 4 x 15km a week, basically every other day around a local exercise park they built.

 

Very good for de stressing, all they need to do now is clean the air and stop the choking burning and it would be a nice place to be.

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Cycling is, in my view, an excellent way to fight stress and anxiety. However, depending on your fitness/fysical history you have to take it easy ti begin with. Try to build up endurance, in the beginning. Power/speed will follow. Getting a bike that fits you is important too, if you want to take it seriously. However, it only works against stress if you enjoy it!

i am 75 and cycle, in Thailand,, 80 - 100 km trips,  3 times a week on a mountainbike.

Edited by damascase
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I am surprised sometimes the difference in my temperament and feelings if I don't do exercise for a while. My only tip is that I put exercise it different categories - cardio normal, cardio fast and weights. The first is good just to keep fit and for fun. The second is to put pressure on your body a bit - run fast, ride fast, or do whatever fast for one or two minutes and really sweat - it wakes you up,  and then weights just seems to get your body awake in a different way. So ride casually with a couple of really fast bursts when safe and maybe buy some dumb bells or just do push ups to finish up.  

I think that combination tests yourself and stops you thinking too much about stuff.

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