Back in the Saddle How to Ride a Bike, Comfortably!
Bicycle seats—saddles, properly—look uncomfortable at the best of times, particularly the kind that accompany racing bikes. For those suffering from a prostate complaint, bike saddles can seem like a Medieval torture device.
But discomfort, pain, and chafing is no reason to give up this healthy and highly recommended activity. Adjusting the way you sit, what seat you use, and even what type of bike you ride can get you back in the saddle again.
Often, saddle pain is caused by not sitting correctly. Te fat part of the seat should support your sitting bones, or “ischial tuberosities.” If you are putting your weight on the thin part of the seat—the “nose”—you’ll also be putting pressure on your “perineum,” the space between your genitals and anus. Tat’ll hurt, and after a while, you may go numb there. A saddle that’s too high or tilted wrong also can be a problem—ask a professional bike mechanic to adjust your seat to fit your anatomy.
Say No to the Nose
Because sitting on the nose can lead to numbness and pain, you might want to try a different style of seat. Look for short-nosed seats or seats with no nose at all. In fact, there are all sorts of seat innovations on the market these days, including the “Spongy Wonder,” the “Bi Saddle,” and the Hobson “Easy Seat.”
Biking can be addictive, but if you start to experience pain and numbness in or near your “boys” during a long ride, it’s time to ease up a little. In other words, listen to your body and change your routine if pain has become a riding companion.
Recliner on Wheels?
Tat’s a little unfair: a recumbent bike—the kind on which you sit reclined and low to the ground with your legs out in front—might be the best choice if no seat is working for you. On a recumbent, your buttocks and back take the strain, rather than your sitting bones and hands.
Reasons to Quit
Smoking Linked to Urological Disorders
It makes your clothes smell. In winter, you have to do it outside in the cold. It’s expensive. It leaves you short of breath. It causes lung and throat cancer. And if you need another reason to quit, evidence is being gathered that smoking plays a role in a host of urological complaints, from bladder cancer to erectile dysfunction.
Nicotine is a powerful drug, and quitting can be difficult. Fortunately, New York State has an excellent smoking secession program that provides guides, plans, support, and even a savings calculator! If you are ready to live tobacco free, visit nysmokefree. com or call the New York State Smoker’s Quitline at 1-800-NY-QUITS.
Prostate, Kidney, & Bladder Cancer—Smoking doesn’t just cause lung and throat cancer. It’s a primary risk factor for bladder cancer, the sixth most common cancer in the US. It’s also associated with prostate cancer and “renal cell carcinoma,” or kidney cancer. In fact, a recent study of kidney cancer patients found that the risk of developing advanced cancer is “dose dependent.” That is, the more you smoke, the greater your risk.
Kidney Disease—Researchers have discovered a link between tobacco and kidney disorders such as “albuminuria” and “mesangial cell damage.” In albuminuria, the kidneys excrete blood proteins along with waste products in the urine. Mesangial cells (special cells that surround blood vessels in the kidney) are damaged when they absorb nicotine from the bloodstream.
Erectile Dysfunction—There’s a strong correlation between smoking, erectile dysfunction, and other sexual health problems. A 2003 Tulane University study found that men who smoked more than 20 times a day had a 60% higher risk of erectile dysfunction compared to nonsmokers. Plus, current and former smokers are about 30% more likely to suffer from impotence. What’s more, smoking decreases sperm count and motility. It all brings new meaning to the phrase, “get your butt out of bed,” doesn’t it?!
Urinary Incontinence—Nicotine irritates the bladder and may cause muscles that control it to contract, leading to the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Coughing can result in the occasional accident, but over time a hacking “smoker’s cough” can weaken the muscles that hold urine in, making incontinence more frequent.
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