Cycling for seniors can be a great form of exercise, just as for any other age group. Cycling is an aerobic form of exercise, which just means that it uses oxygen and the lungs. Aerobic activity is generally very good for the heart and circulatory system and it is often said to reverse some of the physical effects of aging.
Cycling can also help to reduce symptoms of many health problems including hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis, asthma and even depression. However, if you suffer from any health problem especially heart conditions, high blood pressure, or if you are at risk of health issues due to age, being overweight or a smoker, you should definitely check with a doctor before taking up any vigorous exercise. In fact a health check is recommended for all seniors before starting any exercise program.
There are two main forms of cycling that you can enjoy: indoor and outdoor.
Cycling indoors requires a stationary bike or exercise cycle that you keep in the house. The big advantage of this is that your exercise bike can be used at any time of day or night, in all weathers and even in the busiest of cities. It also gives you privacy while you exercise.
Some people find stationary cycling a little tedious compared with cycling outdoors. This depends entirely on your temperament. Whatever type of exercise you decide to do needs to be enjoyable and fun for you, to keep your motivation high.
Most people listen to music to keep them motivated while cycling indoors and some even watch TV. However, it is important not to become to engrossed in the television or anything else. We need to stay aware of the movement of our bodies during any form of exercise, to make it more effective and also to help reduce the risk of muscle strain or injury.
A major benefit of cycling outdoors is that it gets you outside in the fresh air. Your lungs and circulatory system are likely to benefit much more from receiving fresh oxygen while you exercise, than if you cycle in the stale air of your home, especially if the windows are closed.
Of course it is better to avoid heavy traffic, both for safety reasons and to avoid pollution. Plan a route on quiet roads or special cycle paths. For safety, it is best to carry a cellphone at all times, especially if you are cycling alone.
Cycling with a group can be a wonderful experience, especially if you can find a seniors group in your area. Increasing social interaction is very important as we grow older. We tend to develop set habits and the number of our social contacts decreases, leaving us vulnerable to apathy and depression. Meeting new people broadens the mind and helps to keep us mentally alert – another benefit of cycling for seniors.
Source by Kerry Graylor