Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Wonky Hip & the Bicycle as Mobility Aid

Biking to physio at 7:15am
We don't own a car & usually only drive Modo cars about once a month. I take transit sometimes, but prefer to walk or cycle most places. So you'd probably think I'm a pretty active, healthy person, I imagine. However, for the past few months I've been struggling with a hip issue that probably stems from the hip dysplasia that I was born with. Since December I've sometimes found it quite painful to walk or stand, which has been a major impediment to my fitness goals, & made my life as the full-time parent of two little kids difficult, to say the least. The ten minute-walk to my son's preschool has been agonizing some days & I've needed a couple of days to recover from some of the events I've gone to where I was standing around for a few hours.

I finally realized that this time, unlike previous times I've had hip issues like this, it wasn't going to get better on its own. So I went to the doctor & started going to physiotherapy. My hip is improving, slowly. I can walk & stand without pain most of the time. What's really helped me to exercise & also get around is cycling. Because most of my weight is on my bike seat & the muscles at the front of the hip don't fully lengthen when I pedal, it's been the only way I can travel very far on my own steam comfortably. Fit 4 Two Mom & Baby Spin & Strength classes have been my salvation--I can go get in a good workout without aggravating my hip & I can bring Bronte with me.

I've also started biking with Bronte in the trailer. With a hood under her helmet it fits well & with a cushion behind her in the seat, the straps are snug. She likes it in there & her neck doesn't seem to wobble too much. I'm sticking with short rides--mainly to preschool & back--but it's been fabulous to be able to get there & back by bike without hurting my hip.

Sometimes I get the impression that people thing cycling is an activity that you need to be very fit for, but it really isn't. Cycling is low-impact & due to the physics of gearing (like a mountain bike or hybrid), you don't have to work that hard on the hills. If I can do it easily when I can't walk or stand without limping, it can't be that hard, can it? If you're thinking of adding a little more exercise to your life while going places, try riding a bike!

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