7 Great Benefits of Cycling for Seniors

Updated on December 22, 2020

As we get older, staying active with regular, gentle exercise is important for our health and wellbeing. There are many benefits of regular exercise for seniors including improved strength, a stronger immune system, better mental health and clarity, and more. Cycling is often a top choice of physical exercise for seniors because not only is it low-impact, but it also gives older people the chance to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Cycling can also be a great social activity, which can provide a huge boost to senior health and wellbeing. Whether you’re an older person considering getting a bicycle, or you want to get an elderly relative interested in this activity, here are some of the main benefits to consider. 

Low-Stress and Low-Impact:

Cycling means that your body moves in smoother motions that do not put any unnecessary stress on your body. Unlike some other exercises like jogging, which are high-impact, putting a lot of strain on your knees, ankles, and feet, cycling propels you forward with circular movements that don’t strain your body or cause any damage over time. This makes gentle cycling an excellent choice of exercise for seniors who want a low-strain way of staying active. 

Weight Loss:

Many older people are no longer as active as they used to be, which can lead to weight gain. In turn, weight gain can cause a host of further health problems including a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, along with lower self-esteem and mental health complaints. Cycling is a great way to stay active without straining the body, helping seniors keep extra weight off and burn calories in a gentler way. 

Improve Memory:

Cycling is a great activity for seniors who are worried about the prospect of memory loss as they age. Cycling encourages your body to work at maximum capacity, fully oxygenating your brain and stimulating your hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for memory. This makes it an ideal choice of exercise for seniors who are concerned with keeping their memory intact for as long as possible or for those who have begun to experience some early symptoms of memory-related conditions. 

Boost Heart Health:

Heart disease and heart attacks are among some of the most common causes of death in older people, and regular low-impact cycling is one of the best ways to improve your heart health and avoid these conditions. Riding a bicycle improves the capacity of your heart as it pumps harder to keep your cells properly oxygenated as you cycle. As you become better and stronger at cycling, your heart will also gain more strength, reducing your risk of suffering from heart-related problems.  If you’re interested in protecting your heart by getting better at cycling, check out these cycling tips from Velosurance. Along with cycling tips and advice to improve your performance, Velosurance provides insurance policies for cyclists designed to protect you in the event of an accident or damage to your bicycle. 

Reduce Cancer Risk:

Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of common cancers, according to the World Health Organization. And since the risk of cancer also increases with age, seniors who want to reduce their risk of cancer can benefit from managing their weight with cycling. Cycling is a great activity to both maintain a healthy weight or lose extra weight, and will reduce your risk of developing cancer when combined with a healthy and balanced diet. 

Boost Body Strength:

A loss of muscle tone, leading to loss of strength, is a common problem faced by many seniors. Muscular health is directly influenced by regular exercise and cycling leads to healthier cells and stronger muscles. If you want to stay as strong as possible throughout later life, investing in a bicycle is one great way to achieve this goal. 

Stay Social:

Research has shown that older people who enjoy an active social life tend to be happier, healthier, and live for longer. Isolation is a real problem for seniors who live alone and may not always be able to spend a lot of time with family and friends. Cycling is a great way to get together with like-minded people and have some quality social time together. You may even be able to find a local cycling club for seniors in your area that you can join to make new friends who share your interests. 

Finally, all these great health benefits of cycling will work together to help you live a longer, happier life. It’s a low-impact exercise that helps seniors improve their life expectancy by protecting their heart, reducing their risk of serious diseases, boosting mental health, and building strong relationships with others. If you want to encourage a senior loved one to start cycling with you, show them these benefits. 

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