Are you thinking about starting to bike? But it is a bit difficult to get started?
Don’t worry! We will tell you how you can get started no matter what your starting point is. We will cover all the health benefits you can gain from biking and provide you with helpfull tips to get you started with biking as a senior person.
As we age some of us will find it more difficult to do certain physical activities. Maneuvers that we once used to do without hesitation doesn’t come as easy anymore.
From a biological point of view as we get older our bodies start to deteriorate.
The extent of deterioration differs from person to person and the rate it happens it is also individual.
“At a senior age: Any movement is better than no movement”
It might sound a bit harsh but when it comes to staying healthy it is, none the less, very true!
You might not be able to lift ridiculous amounts of weight or workout at neck-breaking speeds any more. However, some level of challenge and movement is really beneficial for staying healthy and fit. The best thing is to perform low impact exercise. Low impact exercises don’t put much strain on your knees, joints, and back. Biking happens to fit perfectly into these criteria.
“Biking is gentle on your: Knees, Joints, and Back”
Biking is a healthy and fun activity that you can do alone, with friends, family, or with a group. It’s a great form of exercise that provides aging people with a wide range of health benefits. While light jogging, walking, and bowling are also popular with seniors, biking definitely adds fun and new dimensions to exercise.
Biking: A Low Impact Exercise
Jogging, which is one of the most talked about forms of exercise for seniors, exerts a lot of pressure on the knees and joints because of the contact between the feet and the ground. Compared to the circular movements you perform while biking the nutrients and energies are evenly transported without the same stain on feet and knees.
“As a low-impact workout, biking makes the perfect choice when recovering from an injury”
Biking involves steady and smooth movement. You are engaging your muscles without putting too much strain on your ankles and knees. As a low-impact workout, biking makes for the perfect choices if you are recovering from an injury. Muscle recovery from biking sessions is proven to be faster, compared to other forms of workouts.
Biking builds stamina and strength
The great thing about cycling is, that you don’t really have to be super fit before starting. You can start on a light note and cycle through flat terrains at a comfortable pace. Starting out slow you will still get a multitude of health benefits.
“If you are cycling as a new form of exercise, the electric bike can provide you with extra assistance”
Benefits Of An E-Bike
One of the benefits of an e-bike is the fact that you don’t have to use as much energy as you would using a regular bike.
If you are tired after a long strenuous day, the motor on the e-bike can assist you, no matter the terrain. The fact that the e-bike offers you support while cycling does not take away any of the benefits from cycling. It provides less strain on you and your knees and joints. Not only is cycling good for you legs, but it is also beneficial for your entire body.
If you cycle on a regular basis, building muscles and boosting your strength will come naturally. If you cycle on a regular basis, building muscles and boosting your strength will come naturally.
“Cycling can increase the levels of Dopamine, Phenylethylamine, and Serotonin –
= Cycling makes you happy!”
Are you considering buying an electric bike? Then you should check out our article on the difference between a regular vs. electric bike.
Biking Is Good For Your Mental Well-Being
Cycling is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also good for your mental health. Bike riding offers the best feel-good workout. It also helps you fight off symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. When cycling your body will experience a kind of rush and excitement. This impacts the levels of dopamine, phenylethylamine, and serotonin –all directly responsible for making us feel more content, happy, and alert.
“Cycling can help you relax more, socialize better and become more confident”
A study conducted on seniors has showed that seniors who on a regular basis participate in cycling have improved their overall fitness and performance in other physical tasks.
Additionally, these seniors have stated they feel better about themselves and are more confident. It also sharpens your mental agility; it increases your body’s blood flow, which in turn means that the oxygen will circulate more efficiently to all your body’s organs, especially your brain.
Biking builds stamina and strength
Limited physical activity is the biggest reason aging adults gain weight, develop diabetes or become obese. However, cycling can help you increase your metabolism, burn calories and fat. And as a result, maintain a healthy body weight. If you’re 60 and above, your BMI should ideally be at 25 or less.
“Cycling is a perfect cardio exercise that will ultimately help you burn fat and build your muscles”
If you participate in cycling on a regular basis you will burn about 300 calories per hour, with variations based on your pace and current weight. Your metabolism will also be affected by your cycling routine, which basically means that you can burn calories even after you’ve parked your bike.
If your main goal for cycling is to lose weight you can benefit even more by combining your exercise with a healthy diet plan.
Bike rides are healthy for your heart and immune system
As a senior you are bound to experience cardiovascular complications and a deteriorating immune system. This is especially true if you live a sedentary lifestyle on a poor diet.
“Cycling will reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing the fat levels in the blood”
Cycling is a great cardiovascular workout. It will make you fitter and healthier. It lowers your resting pulse while supporting your heart to achieve an optimal steady rhythm.
If you cycle for about 30 minutes per day you can also lower the risk of developing:
- Kidney malfunctions
- Ocular diseases
Last but not least you will also strengthen your skeleton and develop a more resilient immune system.
Tips for cycling at a later age
As we age our energy levels and mobility will probably become more limited. Our bodies will go through a natural wear and deterioration process through the years.
You may notice symptoms such as:
- Joint and knee pains
- Declining visual acuity
- Weakening immune system
These symptoms will vary from person to person. It will depend on your personal fitness, physical activity, diet, and overall health condition.
“Cycling can increase your heart rate, improve your strength and stamina, and slow down the wear and tear on your body”
Medical conditions, such as arthritis can also compromise your ability to perform physical activities, even those you use to enjoy before. However, despite having all these benefits and the fact that it’s a low impact exercise, you still need to approach cycling cautiously. Remember to consider the potential health and physical limitations you might be facing.
If you are in doubt, always contact your doctor!
Before embarking on your first bike ride it is always a good idea to use protective gear while riding. Invest in a good helmet, kneepads, and riding gloves.
Keep your knees stable when pedaling and don’t sit too close to the handlebars. If your knees are to close to the handlebars, they might start to ache. You should also ensure that your bike is in good shape. Especially if it’s an older one that you used 10 to 20 years ago. This will help in preventing accidents resulting from an equipment malfunction. If you’ve outgrown your bike, consider purchasing a new one. A wrong sized bike, or even wrong adjustments can cause recurrent pains and aches.
If you are considering buying a new bike, why not consider an electric bike?
Seniors biking can be a delicate affair especially if you’re battling certain physical or health limitations. An e-bike will support your pedaling on tough and hilly terrains. The great thing about an e-bike is that fact that you can turn the pedal-assist mode on and off. The bike still offers you a chance to exercise and push your physical limits. The added boost of the pedal mode will ensure that you do not place too much strain on your ankles, knees, joints, and back. Especially if you already have an inflammation in any of these sensitive areas.
If balance is one of your major concerns, consider asking for help. Practicing with a friend until you’re confident with your stability before hitting the long distances. You may also want to start your practice with a stationary bike, which will allow you to pedal easily without falling off. If indoors is not your thing, then a tricycle might come in handy.
The most important thing about cycling is to take it easy. Even though cycling and health go well together, you must not push yourself too hard. In the beginning, it is wise to choose the less strenuous routes. Later you can gradually increase your distances, speed, and effort while always paying attention to any and all emerging pains and aches.