Tips on going the distance during your workout
The beauty of cycling is that it is one of those activities that are truly doable virtually anywhere (including indoors). It’s an activity that offers a great workout for all ages, and we’re encouraging you to join us on the ride as the benefits to being active in your 50s are documented and numerous.
For beginners and pros alike, it is important to consider benchmarking your progress so that you can adjust duration and difficulty as you go along.
(Many of these points are true for all ages of cyclers, so share this article with your riding partners and encourage them to pass it along!)
Look after your knees
One of the main concerns regarding cycling for the over 50s is taking care of your joints, particularly your knees. Cycling with correct form is important because it will ensure you have enough power to pedal for the duration of your ride and keep aches and pains afterwards to a minimum. Ask your local store to assist you with your form – you may need to adjust your seat position.
Keep your bike well maintained
Degraded equipment will have an impact on your body and your workout. Have it examined by a professional to avoid any malfunctions that could lead to accidents. If you’ve had your bike for decades, it might be time to look at a newer model as engineering and materials have improved thereby making newer models lighter and easier to manoeuvre.
Consider an electric bike
While that may sound counterproductive to cycling for a workout, electric bikes will help propel you when you need a bit of a boost with your ride – you’ll still get the aerobic exercise you wanted. This will just give a bit of help if you’re fatigued or facing a particularly daunting hill.
Although cyclists follow the rules of the road, they need to be extra careful when it comes to drivers and any other obstacles. Make sure you choose routes away from areas with heavy traffic and always wear a helmet. Riding during the day is generally safer than at night, even if you’re wearing reflective and clothing. Wearing bright colors is also a useful tip. Another safety option is cycling with a group – safety in numbers!
Keep your balance
If balance is a concern, start out by riding a stationary bike until you feel comfortable riding a regular bike. This will help you get comfortable with shifting your weight as you increase the intensity of your pedalling. One of the benefits of cycling is that you will be able to strengthen your core and improve your balance and posture in the long-term.
As is the case with any exercise routine, you have to give your body enough time to recover to get the full benefits of your workout. As you get older, it’s also a good idea to supplement your diet with any extra nutrients you might need to maintain your health.
Alone or with friends, cycling is a great way to get a frequent workout that is easily adjusted to your desired difficulty levels. About to hit the road? Always remember to warm up properly beforehand and always conclude your ride with a cool down of stretches.
While you’re here, you might want to read up on a case study of seniors who have seen demonstrated successes from adopting a physical activity routine.
Healthy Living is a frequently updated content section brought to you by the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In the spirit of supporting our #HealthyActiveCommunity, we’re sharing tips around wellness, physical activity and more!