What is a Senior Citizen’s Energy Recovery Rate?

Way back on August 10, I had some heavy duty dental work done. I was in the chair for over two hours. If interested you can read the details here.

I was wiped out after the ordeal and went home and laid low the rest of the day. I had gotten in a 20 mile bike ride before I went to the dentist, so I wasn’t worried about missing a ride.

If you are new to the blog, let me catch you up quickly. I ride my bike daily to the extent that is possible in a four season city like Chicago. As a result I am in good physical condition. I am a senior citizen over 65. My resting heart rate is below 50.

My dog out with me for a ride in early spring

For all those reasons, I was surprised when my energy lagged in the days following the dental work. At this time of year I usually ride more than 30 miles a day and accomplish this by riding twice, once before lunch and once after. Since the dental work, however, I have really felt myself to be in a ‘low energy’ condition.

My morning ride normally varies from 15 to 25 miles. I go home, shower, eat, walk the dog, then think about riding again.

These days, since the dental work, I have barely been able to ride 20 miles. Sometimes even just the low teens. And, I haven’t managed to ride twice a day a lot of times.

It is now three weeks since the dental ordeal. I am scheduled to get my permanent bridge put in tomorrow morning. Today, for the first time since August 10 when the work was done, I managed to ride 22 miles in the morning. So, it may be that my body needed three whole weeks to get back to normal.

I can think of only two explanations for this drop off in energy. First, because of my age, above 65, it takes that long to recover from a physical procedure like the dental work. Second, perhaps I jumped the gun with my riding and slowed my own recovery. If I had simply avoided the bike for a couple of days maybe I would have been good as new in a week or less.

Any health care practitioners out there are invited to comment. I plan to ask my own doctor next time we get together.

Added September 4: The weather in Chicago appears to have closed the door on summer. We have gone from scorching 90s at the end of August down the pleasant 70s in the first week of September. I am now finding I have much more strength and energy on my rides. I have no trouble getting my 20 mile first ride in. So it seems that the temperature also played a big part in my loss of energy. I hope all you endurance athletes out there are aware of this.


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Filed under aging, Exercise, recovery rate

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