Bob's Story: Biking for Health
During his career, Bob couldn't find time for exercise. He worked hard and traveled a lot for his job. Fast-food meals were a way of life on the road, and he was overweight.
At age 59, he had a heart attack. Then, 5 years later, he had quadruple bypass surgery. A few years after the surgery, he found out he had diabetes.
Now 20 years after his heart attack, Bob is a changed man. He rides his bike 10 to 15 miles each day unless it rains or snows. He weighs 30 pounds less than when he had the heart attack.
Although Bob started being more active after his heart attack and surgery, he really got moving after his doctor told him he had diabetes.
"My doctor said, 'It's about time you lose weight,'" Bob says. "That's when I got my bike."
He also started eating healthier—less sugar and fat. His weight dropped from 188 to 162 pounds. Bob says he decided to bike because it was more interesting than walking or running. He rides a winding route through his neighborhood each day. In the summer, he hits the road before sunrise.
"I'm halfway through before the sun comes up, because of the heat. There's no wind, no traffic. But I'm not a hill climber," he jokes.
Winters make it a little harder for him to stay fit, but he still rides. He says his weight creeps up during the cold months.
When he takes time off his bike for vacations, he's anxious to get home and get back to riding. "After a couple of weeks, you miss it. I miss going out every day."
Bob's son John, 54, says his father amazes and inspires him. About 6 months after Bob got his bike, John bought his dad a cyclometer to keep track of his distance. A short time later, he found that his dad had logged 1,500 miles. "It's just a testament to his self-discipline and determination," John says. "That's always been a source of pride for me."
Bob's story reflects his experiences as told in an interview. The photograph is not of Bob, to protect his privacy.
For more information, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.