On Your Bike: Why You’re Never Too Old to Cycle

04
Mar
2019

Over the past twenty years, the number of people cycling to work in Canada has risen by over 87%. Given the positive impact cycling has on our health, this is very encouraging news. However, cycling should not be seen as a young person’s activity. In fact, it is particularly important for seniors to take to the saddle too.

Kind on your wallet as well as your body

Cycling is gentle on the joints, making it an ideal form of exercise for seniors. Better yet, cycling is a cost-effective way of staying healthy, with the only real expenditure involved being a bicycle and protective gear. Given the hidden fees associated with gym memberships, as well as the lack of guarantee that you’ll be able to access particular equipment at peak times, cycling offers you a way of exercising that is flexible and affordable in comparison.

Good for your brain

A potentially surprising benefit of cycling is its impact on the brain. As we age, our brains are more susceptible to memory loss and lower cognitive ability, due to the reduction of gray matter in the brain. However, studies show that cycling can combat brain degradation in seniors, thanks to the increased blood flow to the brain. Just thirty minutes of moderate cycling a day can give your brain (as well as your body) the boost it needs.

Different bikes for different bodies

Whatever your age, it is crucial to find the bike that is right for your body and fitness levels. The first priority is comfort. This means making sure you feel comfortable when in the riding position. The natural choice for seniors who are new to cycling is a comfort bike, the name of which sums up its purpose. A comfier version of a mountain bike, comfort bikes are well-suited to seniors looking to cycle on a leisurely basis, whether it for family cycle rides or a short trip to the shops. When it comes to the frame, opt for a ‘step-thru’ bicycle, which has a low cross bar (or none at all), making it easier for riders to lift their foot over the frame and onto each pedal and prevent them losing balance.

A little pedalling goes a long way

Whether you’re a confident, frequent cyclist or a novice, making time to cycle each day will do you the world of good – no matter your age. If you feel like you will struggle to make it part of your daily routine, try buddying up with a friend to encourage each other to go out. Likewise, if you’re lacking confidence in the saddle, ask a friend to accompany you on some quiet cycle paths. Even if you just use your bike for simple errands nearby, the fresh air and gentle exercise will help your physical and mental health. So try to make the most of any fine weather, and get pedalling.

Photo c/o https://www.pexels.com/photo/active-bikes-cyclist-elderly-264073/.



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