It is never too late to start cycling, especially if you are over 60 years already. Nothing should stop you from cycling, not even your age. This is because there are many health-related benefits that accompany doing this exercise regularly. As the old saying goes ‘You never forget how to ride a bike!’ Even if it’s been a while.
Cycling helps to slow down the aging process and improve the immune system. It also is great for your mental health. As a classy oldie, you need all those mental and physiological systems running smoothly for your daily routine. Take a more detailed look below at what cycling is good for and how it can help you.
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1. Cycling Can Boost Your Mental Health
Your mental health can decline with age, just like physical health. Even if you haven’t experienced any mental health issues in your life, your old age can bring a host of new challenges.
During your old age, you’ll likely experience boredom and loneliness which can lead to anxiety and depression. This is where cycling helps you out. It will get you out and experience outside life just like you used to do during your youth days. By doing this, you will experience life and see things positively. Cycling will definitely drive you out of boredom, anxiety, and depression. Hence, you can improve your mental health just by cycling.
2. Boost Your Immune System
Generally, the immune system regresses by 2-3% every year from the age of twenty. It is an unwritten rule of nature that will occur in almost everybody’s immune system unless you beat down the factors that can encourage such kinds of deterioration from your immune system.
It’s undeniable that we all need a very reliable immune system that could help us ward off illness. Physical activity like cycling can help the body flush out bacteria from the airways and lungs. This helps to reduce the probability of flu or cold taking place. Additionally, a rise in body temperature while exercising prevents bacteria from growing and helps in fighting infections.
So, if I was above 60 years, I would be very concerned about my immune system. And finding boosters that would help increase the resistance of the immune system is the most logical way to go. When it comes to mastering this art of boosting the immune system to stay healthier, cycling is the best way to actualize it.
3. Slows Down the Aging Process
As we grow older, it’s normal for our muscle mass to reduce. Also, the ability of our muscles to contract reduces due to fat and connective tissue. To combat these challenges, engaging in physical exercises especially cycling is a proven method.
A study was conducted between aged people who were cyclist and those who were not a cyclist. The result showed that the cyclists were healthier. Their heart health (1), agility, and balance stood out. They had preserved strength and muscle mass when compared to those that didn’t cycle. They also maintained stable levels of body fat with better cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, cycling is a form of exercise that protects telomere length. Shortened telomeres cause cell death and aging. And doing exercise regularly can save up to nine years of reduced deterioration in cells. Hence, it is safe to say that cycling can increase lifespan.
4. Reduce the Risk and Symptoms of Alzheimer ’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is very much associated with old age. For a longer period, scientists have been trying to come to a reliable solution to the disease. The thought of having such a disease can be startling for an oldie. You’d understand the intensity of the disease if someone close to you have had it.
However, regular exercise can help delay if not prevent this disease completely. This is because exercise can help reduce the levels of tau, a protein in the brain that is linked to Alzheimer’s (2). Generally, exercise increases blood flow in the processing center of the brain. This helps to improve planning, organizing, and attention.
5. Less Stress on the Joints
At some age, walking can be strenuous. Normally, this happens due to the stress that the joint feels. Asking many people above 60 years to take a long-distance walk is like a killer mission to them. Meanwhile, cycling is an exercise that helps to greatly reduce the stress on the joint, making it easy to walk at old age.
Cycling strengthens knee muscles without traumatizing the joint. A stronger knee muscle means you’re less susceptible to injury. However, casual walking can cause forces of thrice your body weight across both knees while running can be as much as five and a half times. That is, the more your weight, the more stress you put on your knee if you’re not a cycler. Cycling isn’t as stressful as other forms of exercise, yet it’s more effective.
Biking has been booming recently(3), with many people enjoying the benefits. Like any other physical activity, you must be careful while cycling. Put on safety kits, start slow, and don’t ask too much from your body. If you do it right, you will definitely get all the health-related benefits of cycling. Stay fit and improve your overall health by cycling.
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