Cycling is one of the most enjoyable sports activities. The ease of practicing it anywhere whenever you want, in addition to being suitable for different age groups, makes us very interested in practicing this sporting activity and we encourage you to ride a bicycle to enjoy it and benefit from many health benefits.
But... is the bicycle suitable for the elderly, or is it reserved for the professionals and the young?
Older people are often forced to give up cycling due to fear of injury, and they give up on the idea of enjoying the freedom and joy that cycling brings. How can we encourage the elderly to ride bicycles despite their limited mobility?
Physical activity helps prevent many chronic diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Therefore, the elderly who exercise regularly are less likely to develop osteoporosis or feel joint pain.
According to German Professor Clemens Becker, riding a bicycle is the ideal sport for the elderly, as it fights cartilage erosion in the joints, and it also maintains the health of the heart and blood circulation . He added that riding a bicycle also works to train the coordination and balance skills of the elderly, in addition to that the open air provides the body with oxygen, which helps to feel comfortable.
Cathy Wyman, a physical therapist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, believes that older people can improve brain function and maintain their balance with exercise.
But before practicing cycling, the elderly should consult a doctor first to verify that they do not suffer from a health problem with the heart, vision or hearing. As with various sporting activities, it is important for both beginners and professionals to measure their cycling progress in order to adjust the difficulty or duration of the bike ride.
Here are several tips that seniors should follow when riding a bicycle:
For those over fifty years of age... It is necessary to take care of the joints, especially the knees. Proper cycling is essential to ensuring that you have enough strength to pedal for the duration of the ride, thus minimizing pain. We recommend getting a bicycle with the right dimensions or adjusting the seat position.
- Make sure to keep your bike in good condition
There is no doubt that sagging the frame of the bicycle will negatively affect your level and the extent of your muscle relaxation. So ask a specialist to check for any faults in your bicycle. And if you have an old bicycle, now is the time to make the necessary upgrades to maintain it.
- Stay alert
Although most cyclists follow the rules of driving on public roads, they need to pay attention when it comes to motorists. So be sure to choose routes away from areas with heavy traffic, as well as wear a helmet throughout your trip. It is preferable to ride a bicycle during the day, as this time is safer compared to the evening period, even if you are wearing reflective clothing. We also recommend cycling with a group of friends.
- Keep your balance
Balance on a bicycle can be a concern, so start with a stationary bike until you feel comfortable riding a regular bike. This will help you feel more comfortable the more intensely you pedal.
- Take a break
As with any sporting activity, you must give your body enough time to recover to reap the benefits of exercise. As you get older, you must follow a healthy diet along with the doctor-approved nutritional supplements you need to maintain your health.
- Ride an electric bike
Electric bicycles help increase strength when you need to cover a long distance during your journey, and thus benefit from the aerobic exercise that you practice, and the electric bicycle will also contribute to providing assistance if you feel tired.
Types of bicycles for the elderly
It has a flexible and durable frame with a lithium-ion battery and provides a power of up to 250 watts and a speed of up to 30 km/h.
Suitable for use if you want to improve your fitness or spend your various trips with it. It has a comfortable medical mattress for the elderly, as well as a small mattress for children. It has a 20 gauge metal frame.
Bicycling alone or with friends is a great way to have a continuous exercise schedule that can be easily adjusted to your desired levels of difficulty. Always remember to warm up properly and conclude with stretching exercises for a safe and enjoyable bike ride .