Monday, June 18, 2012

Cycling: Cadence vs Workload

I ride my bike every day that I can, to exercise my heart.  It occurred to me recently, while riding, that there is a relationship between cadence and work benefits.

Cadence is the revolutions per minute of your pedals.

When you are in a low gear, your cadence rate is high but the effort is low.  This is an aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) is physical exercise of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process. Aerobic refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise. [ref: Wikipedia].

When you are in a high gear, your cadence rate drops to a lower number but it is harder to pedal.  This exercise is anaerobic.

Anaerobic exercise is one in which oxygen is used up more quickly than the body is able to replenish it inside the working muscle. As a result, muscle fibers have to derive their contractile energy from stored substrates. Weight training is an example of such an activity.

So, I think there must be a way to determine what  the ‘best’ pedal rate is for your heart.  You want a good balance of aerobic and anaerobic benefits.  I don’t have the answers yet but stay tuned.

Why Don’t Heart Recipes Tell the Truth ?

For all of us with heart disease in our history, we have been told to be careful about our sodium intake.  Yet most ‘heart health’ cookbooks and recipes seem to ignore this advice.

The current average daily sodium intake for U.S. men is 3100mg to 4700mg; for women 2300mg to 3100mg.  The recommended amount is 1500mg to 2300mg.  Elsewhere in the world, the recommended intake is 1500mg unless you are over 65 years old. Then the amount is 1200mg.

I won’t even try a recipe that doesn’t give all of the nutrient values.  Sure, I can figure them out but why should I have to do that ?  Surely, the person developing the recipe for the heart-challenged must have these numbers, or else how could they think that their recipe is ‘heart-health’.  So, why don’t they tell us ?

For us, these numbers are a matter of life and death.  Not today. Not tomorrow. But sooner that we want.

When you look at a new book with heart recipes, be very careful to inspect the numbers.  Most of them are not good enough for you.  And there is no reason for that.  You can eat well with the restrictions but most of these published recipes will not help you do that.