Tavistock Physio Clinics at Lamerton, Tavistock PL19 8QA and also at 9 Plymouth Road, Tavistock PL19 8AU and Leg O Mutton, Yelverton PL20 6AA
Appointments: Mon - Fri 8am - 7.30pm
Health Blog - Can cycling be for anyone?
By JuliaPatients of Tavistock Physio Clinics know me as one of the receptionists who speak with you on the telephone or in person at the Lamerton clinic.
Some of you also know that I was unable to work through March as I had developed pneumonia. Having never had a significant illness before I found it shocking how the human body becomes so weak and vulnerable while trying to fight a serious infection. Getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom would leave me fighting for breath and coughing uncontrollably. Once recovered from the illness I found I was very weak and was told that just 3 days of no exercise is all it takes for the muscles to weaken (atrophy) and I had had 4 weeks of very little movement!
What could I do to help myself on the road to recovery?
Walking was a good way to start and I asked Nicole, one of our physios, for help with the pains in my feet due to the tendons having become very stiff and inflexible. I also have lymphodema from an old injury so a leg massage was very therapeutic.
But how could I help my breathing as the walking was leaving me out of breath and gasping? Jane came to the rescue with her breathing video which helped stretch the muscles over the rib cage and concentrate on deep breathing to try to use the entire lung capacity and not just the very top part of the lungs.
So where does cycling come into this?
I had heard Jane and other friends telling tales of their bike experiences and so I thought what better way to enjoy the outdoors and also help my recovery. Resurrecting my old bike I soon realised that my legs, back and breathing were not up to the hills we experience in Devon. An electric bike, however, gave a whole new outlook tocycling! Iím at the start of my ebike journey but already I am feeling the benefits. It doesnít go by magic; I still have to pedal so Iím feeling my ankles, knees and hips starting to work once more. I was concerned about the
arthritis in my hands but bikes these days have ergonomic handles for comfort and a pair of gloves seems to keep the pain away.
Ií m not a very fit and have struggled with being overweight but now with my bike Iíve got the means to exercise and enjoy it! Iím looking forward to cycling with work colleagues at Tavistock Physio and benefiting from their knowledge on how I can maintain and further improve my health and fitness.
So, Yes is the answer to the question Ė cycling can be for everyone.