Are you thinking about taking up cycling but are unsure if you should as a senior? Cycling is for everyone, not just young children and triathletes. And with most cities making their streets and trails safer for cyclists, there’s even more reason for older Americans to cycle.
“A decline in your performance ceiling is natural as you age, but unless you're a pro who hit optimal form, it doesn't mean you have to slow down.” CyclingWeekly.com
Cycling is absolutely good for older Americans, especially since that term applies to some of us GenXers. And now that you’ve got some free time, you may even want to cycle to fundraise for foundations like Bike and Build. So, yes, as long as you have good balance and endurance, cycling is good for older Americans.
Cycling doesn’t impact the joints the way running does, so if you’re thinking about switching up your cardio, cycling may be a great alternative. And, who doesn’t want to slow down the aging process?
“In a study that compared the health of cyclists aged between 55 and 79 to a group of healthy non-cyclists of the same age, the cyclists were healthier.” Hif
How long you should work out is dependent upon your personal endurance. As always, when starting a new exercise routine, check with your physician. Inexperienced seniors should start slow, maybe on a stationary bike, and work up to about 30 minutes. You want to work out your heart but be sure to bring water. It’s easy to dehydrate and that wouldn’t be any fun.
“A single bout of moderate intensity aerobic exercise for as less as 30 minutes can improve some aspects of cognition, most prominently for memory, reasoning and planning and can shorten the time taken to complete the tests.” NIH
It’s tempting to buy from an online retailer like Amazon or even check out Facebook Marketplace. With that said, if you haven’t ridden a bicycle in a while, you may want to visit a bike shop, especially one that sells to seniors. If you’re used to riding a bike and your core is strong from yoga and such, then you may not need to buy from a specialist.
“Visit one or more bike shops, ideally ones that are accustomed to selling to seniors. A bike shop can advise you on the right type of bicycle based on your needs, experience, size, and health.” ThisIsRetirement.com
Seniors should cycle anywhere they feel safe but why not start in some of your city’s cycling trails? Most communities are creating spaces these days that allow us to be in nature (with your hat and sun protection) and be environmentally conscious. Taking your cycle on road trips with you (hello RV) will also be a great way to see the National Park System.
So, what’s stopping you? You can cycle in groups which increases safety and your enjoyment. Will you plan a cycling day for your neighborhood on Tuesday, or will you share this with your retired husband to get him out of the house? (Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.)
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