Cycling is great exercise for seniors, just as it is for any other age group. It is an aerobic form of exercise, which means a form of fitness which uses oxygen and the lungs. This type of exercise is generally very good for the
heart and circulation, and is believed to help reverse some of the physical effects of ageing.
Cycling can also aid in reducing symptoms of other health problems such as asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis and even depression. However, if you suffer from a heart condition, obesity, high blood
pressure or other health problems, or if you are over 45 and a smoker, see your doctor before starting any exercise program to check that it is suitable for you.
There are two main ways to enjoy cycling: indoor and outdoor.
This form of cycling involves a stationary cycle or exercise bike which you keep in the house. The main advantage of this is that it can be used in all weathers, at any time of day and even in the busiest of cities. It also means
you can exercise in privacy.
Stationary cycling can be a little boring compared with cycling outdoors. Whatever type of exercise program you follow, it should always be enjoyable and fun. This makes a huge difference to motivation and success. Most
people find music helpful for staying motivated when exercising alone.
Some people even watch TV. Be sure though not to become completely distracted. Staying aware of the movement of the body and muscles during any form of exercise makes the activity a lot more effective and also helps
reduce the risk of injury.
One of the main benefits of outdoor cycling is that it gets you out into the fresh air. The benefit to your lungs and blood from receiving fresh oxygen into the body is likely to be much greater than if you are cycling in the stale
air of your house with closed windows.
Of course, you will want to avoid heavy traffic, otherwise the pollution will counteract the benefit of the fresh air. So keep to quiet roads or dedicated cycle paths. Another good reason for doing this is to avoid the dangers of
cycling in traffic.
If you can find a group to cycle with, you can add another benefit, that of increasing social interaction. This is very important as we get older. We tend to become set in our ways and limited in our new social contacts. Meeting
new people helps with broadening the mind and keeping it active, both vital to staying mentally alert. This is just one of the ways that an exercise program such as cycling can help us regain or hold onto our youthful energy.