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New Report goes beyond just saying Cycling doesn’t Pose a Threat to Men’s Health;  It says Faster is Better.

A new study, reported on by Newsweek and published in the Journal of Urology shows cycling doesn’t affect a man’s “sexual and urinary health” any more than running or swimming does (which one would assume is none at all – at least this one).

In the past, reports existed that supported the notion that cycling could cause erectile dysfunction.  While those reports were discredited as “lacking scientific rigor”, the myth persisted amongst the, well, let’s call them “the information deprived”.

In any event, this new study shreds the notion and goes one better to say that any negative attributable to cycling is vastly outweighed by the benefits.  Better still, the study split cyclists into two groups based on intensity, those who rode more than three times a week and 25 miles per ride and those who rode less… and:

Higher-intensity cyclists, somewhat counterintuitively, had better erective function compared to low-intensity cyclists

Hang on a second and let that sink in just a little bit.  I know I almost had to pick my jaw up off the floor – it’s a rare day a study bares that out, let alone the point actually makes a report about the study.  In a world where seemingly everything that comes out looks at how little one has to do, it was nice to see the hotrods get a nod and a pat on the helmet for once.

The only problem they did come up with for cyclists came in the form of genital numbness, or in less technical terms, numbnuts.  Scientists did find, and I really don’t want to know how, that spending approximately 20% of the time out of the saddle helped immensely.  I can, of course, corroborate this finding – and to tell the truth, I really don’t plan on explaining how.  Just know it’s good to jumble the jewels now and again with a quick shake out of the saddle.  What is important here is the why.  Numbnuts are caused by a saddle that restricts blood flow to the chestnuts so that’s why riding out of the saddle helps – it gets the blood flowing in the nether region again.  So, either get a harder saddle or spend some time climbing peaks out of the saddle.

Other than cranky cajones, which we know are fairly common, cyclists have every reason to rejoice.  We still have things like saddle sores and chafing to be aware of, but the big problems appear to be a worry of the past.

Now, before you ask (or comment), yes.  I was aware of every double-entendre.  They were all on purpose.  ‘Cause we all need a little laugh from time to time, especially about a topic that begs for a chuckle.

Ride hard, my friends.  Heh.

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I Owe Everything I Love to Recovery

I don’t care how one chooses to sober up, if one doesn’t clean up the wreckage that caused them to drink in the first place, you’re pretty much screwed – you’ll drink again.  It’s not rocket science; Quit drinking, clean up the disaster that I created, make amends for that disaster, do the next right thing in any given situation, don’t rest on one’s laurels, enjoy life.  That’s pretty close to the template, though I like to work a dozen steps in there, because it makes the process a lot easier.

My wife, kids, work, cycling, road trips, vacations, weekends, my bikes… happiness itself.  Without recovery, none of the good life I have is possible.  

Folks, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; I couldn’t deliver pizza well as a drunk (I never did show up to work loaded though, not once).  

Every day I wake up, I’m thankful I’ve done so sober.  I owe everything I love to recovery, and I have a lot to love.


 

 

The Extra Mile

Climbing

Cycling:  Because when You Love what You do to Stay Fit….

Why do I choose cycling?  When you love what you do to stay fit…

You don’t have to rely on silly quotes to get off the couch, you can’t wait to get out the door….  And only then do you understand why those quotes never really stuck in the first place.

Now that you’ve finally begun, don’t quit…

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How I Keep Fitness a Priority, without Failing after the Newness of the New Year’s Resolution Wears Off….

People are going to start dropping their fitness resolutions like a dirty shirt in 3… 2… 1…

I’m on my fifteenth year of my fitness journey, with only a few short breaks in the action for injuries at the beginning of running, then a few more at the beginning of cycling.  In all, we’re talking about four or five weeks off in fifteen years.  Sure, there were a few vacations too, but you get the gist.

I have a few tricks and tips that keep me on the straight and narrow path.

  • I know my happiness and sanity are both linked to my fitness.  The fitter I am, the happier I am.  The less fit I am, the more miserable I am.  It’s quite simple.
  • I know pain is linked to a lack of fitness; the less I move, the more I hurt.  I realize this may seem counterintuitive, but exercise only hurts until you get used to the muscles.  I came to find that laziness is vastly more physically painful than exercise.
  • Unfortunately one must stick with a fitness regimen long enough for that last bullet point to work.  The initial pain of building muscles can be a little off-putting at first.
  • I actually enjoy my activity of choice.
  • It’s a lot easier to keep at something if you literally can’t wait to get back out there.
  • A friend of mine just yesterday laid down this nugget that fits:  It’s a lot harder to fall off the wagon if I’m sitting in the middle of the crowd riding it…
  • I surround myself with a pile of friends who enjoy riding just as much as I do.
  • Now, here’s the big one:  Perpetual motion….  A Jim in motion tends to stay in motion.  Those days you just want to sit down on the couch?  Yeah, unless I’m really feeling down, I give it all I’ve got on those “sit on the couch” days.  If I’m really feeling down, I’ll pedal easy and remember why I love riding so much.  Either way, I move when I don’t want to.

If your resolution is to get fit or lose some weight, stick with it till it takes hold.  Don’t try to do it alone.  Relax and have some fun – you may as well enjoy the time you’ve got, there isn’t a one of us getting out of this alive.

Recovery from Alcoholism and Recovery from Food Addiction: They’re not as Different as some Suggest

A while back I remember someone suggesting that staying on the straight and narrow path of recovery from food addiction was more difficult that recovery from alcoholism because “You don’t have to drink alcohol to survive, but everyone has to eat!”

That seemed like a pretty compelling argument at the time, but when I broke it down it’s really not so.  Allow me a moment to explain…  While we do all have to eat food, we also have to drink, especially water, no?

Show me an overweight person who got that way by eating too much broccoli.  How about an overweight person who got that way because they ate too much baked chicken, broccoli and rice?  We’ve just eliminated 99% of all overweight people.  The vast majority don’t get fat eating well, they get fat eating $#!+.  Simple as that.

I didn’t get drunk from drinking too much Mountain Dew, but I did from too much beer and/or liquor.  I still have to drink fluids even though I have to abstain from alcohol.  I can’t make it three days without water, right?  Right.  So staying away from overeating crap food is not harder than staying away from alcohol, it’s just different.

Where we do get into trouble, of course, is the overeating – and I can relate to this, because I REALLY like to eat.  I have a real problem with good comfort food.  I don’t have to worry too much about the desert foods, they’ve lost their luster a little bit, because I can usually convince myself I’m wasting calories on crap.  Every now and again I get stuck on a donut, but for the most part I can say no.  Where I get into trouble is with that big plate of nachos or that homemade beef stew.  Now that’s tasty, baby!

My point is still clear, though; It’s not the low-calorie food that gets me, it’s the calorie-dense stuff.  In the same vain, it’s not the cranberry spritzer (cranberry juice and seltzer water) that gets me, it’s the rum & Coke (or beer, or anything else that contains alcohol).

As far as availability goes, well let’s just say there’s no hiding from anything.  We make a choice – abstain or we don’t.  Which is it going to be?