The older you get, the more important it becomes to exercise and stay in good shape.
While there’s nothing odd or controversial about that statement, it can nevertheless be difficult to follow. As Portia observes in The Merchant of Venice, “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do,” the world would be a very different place. It’s one thing knowing that cycling is good exercise for you, it’s another to actually follow through on that and exercise, let alone do so regularly or as much as you should.
This is especially true for seniors. As you get older, the more important yet harder it becomes to exercise and stay in shape. Cycling is a popular option for seniors looking to stay in shape, given that it can be a fun, social, mobile activity. That said, you’re not 25 anymore and can’t blaze away on that bike the same way as you might have been able to do decades ago.
Whether you are a beginner or not, these cycling tips for seniors can thus help you stay in shape and enjoy your time riding without putting undue strain on your body.
Take it Easy on Your Knees
One of the most important tips to ease up a bit when cycling as a senior is to take it easy on your knees. As you get older, things such as arthritis and osteoporosis become a greater threat. You’ll thus want to make sure that the pedaling motion you make doesn’t take too great a toll on your knees. As you get older, pedaling as fast and furiously and you used to be able to do is a no-go.
You will thus want to practice allowing your kneecaps to go through a gilding motion as you pedal. Instead of using them to force things, be a bit more reserved and allow them to be carried in part by the momentum you generate and “go with the flow.” In addition, you’ll want to set your seat back further and refrain from hunching over your handlebars. Doing this will help ease the pressure that you end up placing on your kneecaps.
Make Sure That Your Bike’s in Good Shape
The last thing you need is to fall off your bike because it’s out of shape. Take the time to make sure that your bike is in good condition.
Get a New Bike
We all tend to get a bit sentimental and attached to things over the years. Nevertheless, if you’ve been using the same bike for decades, chances are that you’re ready for another one. If you are sentimentally attached to the bike, there’s nothing keeping you from keeping it around for old time’s sake. That being said, in terms of comfort, ability, and especially the amount of pressure placed on your legs and knees, you’ll want to opt for a new bike.
Newer models specifically designed for seniors can help account for some of the points put forward here. For example, you’ll be able to find bikes that are designed with the seat already back in the recommended position for seniors, allowing you to ease the strain on your back and knees, or even senior mountain bikes that are designed with more suspension and give for tougher terrain.
Try Electric Bikes
If you are looking for a little extra boost while riding and feel that you can handle it, you may want to consider looking into an electric bike. Not only are these bikes undoubtedly cool but their motorized engines can also take some of the strain out of riding a bike without taking away the exercise potential entirely, as would be the case with a full-blown motorcycle.
Ride with Friends
As stated, one of the great benefits of looking into riding a bike is the fact that it allows you to enjoy a social component while exercising. This becomes especially valuable when you are in your golden years. Not only does riding a bike with friends allow you the chance to get out of the house and socialize for a while but you also have people on hand to help if you fall or otherwise need a bit of assistance while riding.
Riding a bike can be a great pastime and it’s never too late to take it up. Whether you’re an old pro or looking to pick up a new skill in your old age, riding a bike as a senior can be a superb way to stay in shape.