Less attractive stuff out of the way first: I'm 43, 5 feet tall, 223 pounds as of my last doctor's visit. I have asthma, poor kidney function, migraines and a host of other autoimmune health problems. I have tried exercizing with weightloss as the goal and gotten very frustrated in the past. So now, my goal is just to improve my health and endurance, focus on the things I can actually see and feel happening.
I wore out a treadmill, two Wii Fit boards and my knees over the course of about two years and only lost maybe 15 pounds at most. I used to walk in my neighborhood after my treadmill died, but I live in the south, and my winning combo of asthma and kidney trouble meant that I overheat way too easily. So i got a bike about a month ago and started riding early in the mornings. I find it easier to keep from overheating because of the air movement and pedaling seems to be lower impact on my knees. My tailbone is still trying to get used to it, but other than that, I can already feel an improvement. I started out huffing and puffing and barely making it two miles in the lowest gear. Now I am able to go 15 miles in 5th and 6th gear, I have more energy, I sleep better, my asthma has improved a whole lot and I'm not sure if this has anything to do with biking, but my kidneys rarely hurt any more. I was living with daily pain and sometimes weekly kidney stones. Maybe sweating out the salt is giving my kidneys a break.
I do tend to over do it though. I have had to get a shot for my lower back pain/Bike Butt. When I start to go, I tend to get an endorphine rush that masks all symptoms that I am over doing it till it's too late. So far I haven't had to call my husband to come get me. I have been looking for a heart rate monitor that is affordable, but good, one that I don't have to take my hand off the handlebars to check. If anyone can suggest one, I'd appreciate it. Preferably not too expensive. I need to keep it under maybe $75 if I could.