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Question
Posted by: Jan at N | 2004/01/14

training cycle versus walking

After the recent replacement of a heart valve and double heart bypass at 71 exercise is important. Walking has been suggested as no 1. Nelspruit streets are generally sloping and the climate is hot. Will sufficient exercise on a training cycle be as efficient as walking? I was used to execise on my training cycle 30 minutes daily.Or would you suggest some form of apparatus on which you can "walk" indoors?

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Our expert says:
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It would be as effective certainly. The key is the intensity, because having had a fairly major surgery, you want to be careful about overdoing it. Walking is a pretty moderate exercise, and so it’s a good one to consider. However, cycling is also reasonable provided you keep the intensity low as well. The one problem with cycling, and this is where perhaps you need to be careful and maybe monitor something like blood pressure if you have this possibility, is that cycling is more static – the muscles are performing a more ‘static or isometric’ contraction, compared to running, where the muscle contractions are dynamic. The static type contraction can cause blood pressure to rise, so you want to be careful there as well. Here though, if you keep the bike in a really low gear, and just try to ‘spin’ then you should also be OK.

Good luck, and don’t forget that medical clearance and supervision is more important than for most people in your case.

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