10 reasons why cycling is great exercise for the over 50s
The benefits of cycling as an accessible and easy-to-learn form of exercise make it an excellent lifestyle choice, and it’s never too late to start!
Here are our top 10 reasons why you should give it a try:
1: Cardio & strength workout
Like all aerobic activities, cycling is an excellent way to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Unlike other activities, cycling allows you to put in as much or as little effort as you like, allowing you to build up to, or simply maintain a level of fitness you’re comfortable with.
Building or maintaining strength in your muscles provides a whole host of benefits to your everyday life. Stronger muscles, which are exercised more often, are more flexible and support your bones better, meaning you’re less likely to suffer a break if you fall unexpectedly.
2: Low impact exercise
One of cycling’s great advantages over activities like running, is that it’s low impact. When each step impacts the ground, the jolt running through the bones in your feet, ankles, knees and hips can cause quite severe pain and discomfort. Whether you’re already suffering from painful joints, or simply don’t want to, cycling is the exercise for you.
3: Electric bikes
The electric bike boom over the last 10 years is responsible for getting a lot of cyclists into the saddle; cyclists who may otherwise have given up on the sport for good, or who may never have taken it up in the first place.
Instead of doing all the work for you, electric bikes will give you a boost of power which you can feel right at the pedals which starts and stops as you pedal. You can turn up the motor to give full boost, or run it on low power to give you more miles.
Rather than hopping on a bike and setting a new personal best on your trip to the shops, electric bikes are ideal for giving you more time and more energy to enjoy your adventures, without thinking about when the next hill is coming up.
Electric bikes come in a variety of styles to suit all types of cycling, including speedy road bikes, robust mountain bikes and comfortable step-through bikes. There more than 200 electric bikes to choose from at Wheelies, where you can get 15% off the RRP until 31st March.
4: Mood lifting
It only takes 5 minutes of moderate exercise for you to feel a dramatic uplift in mood. Combine that exercise with the sights, sounds and smells of a two-wheeled adventure through nature, and you won’t want to do anything else.
5: Group activity
Cycling is a great way to spend time with your family and friends of all ages, from old classmates, to children and grandchildren. The Sustrans charity site has a collection of articles featuring great days out for cyclists, including a wealth of cycle routes and trails, and a number of cafés & foodie delights.
6: Endurance cycling
If you still have a competitive streak in you, endurance cycling can be an ideal outlet to satisfy it. Studies suggest that, not only are cyclists in their fifties more mentally capable of dealing with fatigue, their muscles may also be better at transferring oxygen from the blood too, giving them an advantage on longer rides.
7: Look & feel younger
The healthier the feel, the healthier you look, and the healthier you look, the younger you feel. As a workout, cycling does more than just exercise your legs:
- Maintaining your body position while cycling can give your core muscles a workout, which will aid & improve your posture.
- Breaking into a sweat helps to maintain and clear your skin, and can also give your natural collagen-producing cells a boost, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
- Getting out and about and watching the world go by is an excellent way to relieve stress & anxiety, putting a spring back in your step and giving you greater confidence without even realising it.
8: Sharpen your mind
As you cycle, your mind is constantly making decisions about where you’re going, how to maintain your balance, which gear will I need for that hill, what obstacles there are up ahead, etc…
A lot of real-time co-ordinated decision making goes on in your subconscious as you ride a bike; this high level of activity can keep your mind sharp and focussed long beyond your fifties.
9: Go on an adventure
Cycling is more than just a way of getting from A to B, it’s an adventure. With nothing between you an your surroundings as you ride along, every stop you make and every sight you see is part of the adventure.
10: See more of the world
There are thousands of cycling holiday destinations worldwide, and plenty to choose from in the UK alone. When you travel by car or by train, the landscape is gone within seconds, and that’s even if you notice it in the first place. on a bike, you get to see more and interact with the world around you.
To help you discover your love for cycling, Wheelies.co.uk are delighted to offer Silversurfers members a 15% saving on the RRP of products on their website until 31st March – use code NEWBIKE15 at checkout.
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