Friday, June 16, 2023

Nerve compression on the exercise bike - It's OK to stand up for a minute!

 I've been hitting the recumbent exercise bike over the last two weeks.  I prefer walking on a treadmill, but I am still carrying 285 pounds, so I'm trying to save wear and tear on my lower extremities.  The non-weight bearing exercise helps with that.

My goal is a regular 60 or 90 minute ride, but right now I'm at 30 minutes.  One of the challenges is that my left leg (for whatever reason only my left) gets a bit tingly 15 minutes into the ride.  

Now, I come from a tradition of sitting on a rowing machine for north of an hour at a piece, and I have a little bit of a built in resistance to taking breaks in the middle of workouts.  This is especially true when I'm tracking heart rate -- I like to be at my target, and getting off of the machine drops my heart rate.

However, it _has_ been productive to take a 60 second stretch break every 10 - 13 minutes or so.  I press "pause" on my heart rate tracker, and just stand up and stretch.  At first it was a mental hurdle to allow myself to do this, but now it feels great.

There are different types of pain or discomfort when training -- my feeling is that nerve compression is a kind of mildly 'bad' pain.  It's not productively strengthening anything, it's just discomfort.  There's not a lot of reason to work through it.  I would say though that there is not a lot of reason to focus on it either.  The discomfort is mild, and there might be a tendency to make a bigger deal out of it than it is, beyond just taking a 60 second stretch break.