Staying active is important during old age. Many seniors turn to low-impact exercises such as walking and light jogging to stay healthy in old age.
But what about cycling?
Contrary to popular belief, cycling is recommended for seniors because it promotes balance and leg strength in older adults.
Here are the many benefits of cycling for seniors.
Improves Balance And Leg Strength
A recent study shows that cycling helps improve balance and leg strength in older adults. This is important to prevent seniors from falling and getting injured unnecessarily. In fact, cycling is considered the ultimate low-impact exercise due to the circular movements involved in the process.
With each intensive contact between your foot and the surface, jogging puts much more pressure on the joints. Cycling involves smooth and steady movements compared to jogging. The circular movements during cycling ensure the energy is evenly transported to the muscles and cartilage.
It helps prevent conditions such as arthrosis, which is common among the aging population.
If your balance is not so great from the start, look for three wheeled bikes that are more stable.
Builds Strength And Stamina
You don’t have to be a great athlete to enjoy a bike ride.
In fact, you can easily cycle on flat terrain at a light pace and still gain the health benefits of cycling. A senior can always opt for an electric bike to assist him/her pedal the bike through rough terrain or uphill areas.
On the other hand, cycling is a whole-body workout and doesn’t work out only the legs as most people think. A senior can build his/her physique by persisting with cycling regularly. It will give you more strength and stamina over time.
Cycling Keeps Your Weight Under Control
Did you know that moderate cycling helps burn up to 355 calories over a 30-minute time span?
Yes, you can burn up to 355 calories per half an hour, depending on your weight and speed.
Cycling will boost your metabolism and help burn more calories even when you are resting. In fact, cycling is a perfect cardio exercise that strengthens your heart and helps build muscle. The more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose over time.
Improves Your Mental Health
Cycling is a great way for seniors to prevent depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues. It impacts the serotonin, phenylethylamine, and dopamine levels in the brain. All these hormones are important to help you feel good.
Seniors who take part in cycling for some time begin to feel good about themselves. It helps the seniors relax and build confidence. Cycling also supports socializing when done in groups.
Cycling Is Great For Memory
Cycling is ideal for seniors who suffer from memory loss or other chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Your body will work at maximum capacity when cycling. This ensures the brain is fully oxygenated and stimulates the hippocampus – the part responsible for memory.
Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
You will lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight when you keep cycling regularly. This is important to reduce your risk of cancer in the long run.
Improves Your Sexuality
Aging reduces sexuality in older people. People become less sexually active while aging. That’s because our body doesn’t produce as many relevant hormones to keep us going sexually.
Health experts say that older men who cycle have about 25-30% more sex than those who don’t. On the other hand, women who cycle can delay menopause by at least five years compared to those who don’t cycle.
Cycling Helps You Live Longer
Mitochondrial damage in the cells is ultimately responsible for a person’s death. In fact, when there is so much mitochondrial damage in the cells, they can no longer sustain life. This is what we call death.
Mitochondrial damage occurs as a result of disease or old age. Cycling is one activity that will keep the mitochondria in the cells healthy for a much longer time. This will ultimately translate to a longer lifespan.
Cycling Is Fun And Great For Socializing
Most seniors feel bored after they retire. Socializing reduces, and the senior will be confined to the house most of the time. Boredom is a very common complaint of older people.
Cycling is a great way to meet new friends and have fun. In fact, there is no better way to get out and become part of the action than on a bike. You can have fun, socialize, and exercise at the same time when you try out cycling frequently.
Cycling Is Great For Your Immune System
Cycling helps strengthen the skeletal system and boosts your immunity. This will help to make the seniors more resilient to numerous diseases and illnesses.
It’s also a great cardiovascular exercise that will improve the health of your heart. Cycling ensures a lower resting pulse and helps the heart to achieve optimal steady rhythm.
A senior can improve cardiovascular health by at least 3-7% with regular cycling. It also reduces blood fat levels.
Cycling Is Good For Faster Recovery
Seniors with knee pain and osteoarthritis can actually recover faster from the conditions with regular and moderate cycling. Even just spinning a few minutes a day will help you recover from such conditions much faster than any other exercise routine.
Exercise, in general, helps improve the self-esteem and confidence of older adults. When you cycle regularly, your body releases a whole cocktail of feel-good hormones. These feel-good hormones will help improve your self-esteem and confidence and make you feel like you can take over the world.
Cycling Will Slow Down The Aging Process
Losing more muscle mass is common when aging. The muscle’s ability to contract reduces due to fat and connective tissues. When a senior stops being active, the muscle loss rate will increase, and he or she begins to age even faster.
Cycling helps preserve muscle mass strength compared to those who don’t cycle. It also helps maintain a stable level of fat with improved cholesterol levels. Aging men who cycled regularly had better testosterone levels than those who didn’t cycle.
Cycling will reduce your risk of chronic disease. It also protects telomere length. Aging and cell death are caused due to shortened telomeres. Regular cycling can save up to 9 years of reduced cell deterioration. That way, cycling is important to slow down the aging process of seniors.
Improves Type-2 Diabetes
Lack of physical activity is the main cause of type-2 diabetes. Seniors who cycled for at least 30 minutes a day had a 40% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes than those who didn’t.
Cycling Preserves Bone Health
Cycling is not a weight-bearing exercise. Hence, it doesn’t promote osteoporosis (bone-thinning disease). Cycling will help preserve your bone health in the long run. In fact, resistance activities such as pushing pedals will pull on the muscles. The muscles will then pull on the bones, which will help increase bone density over time.
Staying active is very important during old age. Many seniors look for low-impact exercises to stay active and healthy during old age. Cycling is one of the best low-impact workouts for seniors to stay healthy and fit while aging. Just be sure to wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet, use a bike that is safe for seniors, and always ride your bicycle safely!
I hope you’ve learned more about the many health benefits of cycling for seniors. Leave a comment or question below!