I’m Barrie, and I warmly welcome you to the ninth post on my blog Over50andfit, which is published bi-weekly.
Today I am focussing on cycling. As we mature, we can lose some balance so I will make stationary bicycles our focal point. By doing this, we will not have to worry about balance to the same extent as riding outdoors. In addition, we avoid potential hazardous traffic and weather conditions.
Compared to some other types of cardiovascular equipment, a stationary bicycle places less stress on our joints, yet provides an excellent workout.
Low Impact Exercise
As with walking, cycling is a low-impact exercise which uses smooth movements to strengthen bones and joints without putting much impact on them. This makes it a good workout for those with joint issues or injuries. In order to heal faster after being hit by a car a few months ago, I introduced two 10-minute sessions of peddling into my daily rehabilitation regimen.
Indoor cycling builds strength in legs and lower body, boosts cardio fitness, strengthens heart, lung and muscles, builds a stronger immune system, burns calories and body fat, can help with weight loss, alleviates stress levels, and improves mood levels. Indoor bikes can help you meet your fitness goals in addition to several cardiovascular benefits. Keep a journal to track your progress, and this will also keep you motivated. To ensure good form, ask a certified trainer for help.
The two most popular types of stationary bikes are the upright bike and the recumbent bike. Ensure that you pedal lightly for a few minutes as a warm-up on both, and select a comfortable resistance to begin with.
The upright bike is similar to a regular bicycle with the pedals positioned under your body. It can provide a superior workout than the recumbent bike, and engages more muscles. On the other hand, it provides less stability than the recumbent bike and the back is not supported. Also, seats can be uncomfortable. Morover there is the possibility that seniors could fall off.
This bike is safe and comfortable. You sit in a comfortable, reclined position on a larger seat that’s positioned back from the pedals. Your body is fully supported and there is very little chance of falling off. Make sure that you keep your back aligned with and tight against the back of the seat. Another advantage is that you can read or watch TV while exercising; this may encourage you to exercise for longer.
Another great option can be an indoor trainer. There are several different styles and brands available, but typically the rear wheel of the bike is mounted securely on the trainer with the tire pressed against a roller that offers some adjustable resistance when peddling. Often a small riser is placed under the front tire as well, so that the bike is level. Although not quite as convenient as a stationary bike for the rider to mount and dismount, indoor trainers tend to be less expensive than stationary bikes and can be more convenient to store when not in use.
Caution: I strongly urge you to consult your family doctor before you begin an exercise program, particularly if you have not exercised for a long period of time. In addition, start slowly and gradually add more time and then intensity.
Please feel free to share your comments and question.
Do remember to keep hydrated and drink lots of water.
In my next blog, I will discuss the merits of yoga.
Yours in fitness,