When I was a child, biking was one of my favorite activities to do with my family as we would ride around pikes and our favorite trail. When I moved to America, we no longer had our bikes, and I did not want to purchase another one since it is intensely hot in the summer. To substitute for the bike, we eventually ended up buying a stationary bike that I continue to use extensively since my diagnosis. It is an entirely concentric exercise and can stretch your calf muscles, making it beneficial to use. I have found that it has built up my endurance, especially swimming, toning the muscles in my leg, hip, and core.

On a high note, there has been a study proving that using a bike with Becker Muscular Dystrophy has dramatically positive results. An article by Muscular Dystrophy UK called “Exercise Training Beneficial for Becker muscular dystrophy” discusses the study. They describe the research shows how “moderate-intensity cycle session for 30 minutes, up to five times a week, were beneficial. After 12 weeks, the participants in the study were approximately 50% fitter, and their muscles significantly stronger.” Most importantly, the participants in the study did not witness further muscle damage and continued to see growth after continuing the study for a year. First of all, this is proof that from a scientific standpoint that exercise is crucial for people with Becker Muscular Dystrophy. As I said before, biking is a concentric exercise displaying how even without the eccentric movement, muscle growth can be foreseen in the future.

I would assume the study took place on stationary bikes because it would be an easier environment to monitor the participants. One positive of a stationary bike is that you can control what happens with your environment (compared to biking outdoors where there are more dangers) so this should be your first step. If you wanted to, you could have people assist you in trying to bike outside by helping you get on and ensuring you remain safe. Electric bikes can make cycling outside much more comfortable as they can boost you if you are having trouble riding up a steep hill or are tired.

The fact that people gained more endurance from the biking activity for up to 30 minutes each day is one form of exercise you should introduce into your life five days a week. Slowly you build more endurance and can attempt to bike for a more extended amount of time, but do not exhaust yourself. Even if thought scientists proved that the activity is safe, overexerting yourself is not the method to approach. Stick to your limits, and you will gradually be able to perform the activity for a longer amount of time. I would recommend beginning with 5 minutes for the first week. In the second week, move to 10 minutes and increase the time at the same rate until you reach 30 (keep growing it if you feel capable of doing so).

I have been using my stationary bike for 10 minutes at least 3-4 times a week. I will use the bike each day of the week and see how beneficial it is for me by doing it that many times a week. For me, cycling has always been a fantastic way to exercise as it is safe and is considered a focused cardiovascular exercise. As you proceed, you may find that it is easier to breathe, and there will be less stress on your heart to push blood throughout your body. Also, helping with weight loss by strengthening and toning your body, there is no reason not to introduce this great exercise into your exercise routine.

I am ecstatic at the fact that biking works without damaging your muscles. It has benefitted me from my experiences, but it consoles me to know that science has proved its positive influences. I have hope that there will be further studies to show forms of exercise that work in the same manner that cycling does. In the meantime, biking is a safe way for you to exercise, so I encourage you to give it a shot and see how beneficial it is for you.