We are spoiled for choice when it comes to cycling options in Colorado. We have the Colorado Bicycles and Byways map helping people find a bike route to suit their cycling experience. And at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we have our regular group shop rides that help cyclists of all abilities to gain confidence in the saddle and meet people. For seniors, in particular, cycling can be an invaluable way of staying active and healthy. The varied routes in Colorado also provide great training opportunities when it comes to taking part in the many cycling events offered. Whatever your reasons for cycling, its physical and mental benefits make it the ideal form of exercise for seniors.
Cycling slows down the aging process
Not only is cycling an affordable way of exercising in retirement, but research shows cycling regularly can keep you young. Studies published in the journal Aging Cell revealed that seniors who cycle regularly have the immune systems of people decades younger than them. This is thanks to the increased activity of T-Cells, which are responsible for combating illness and infection. This provides a good incentive for older adults to train well for a race, or attend one of the regular Wednesday night shop rides at Peak Cycles.
Cycling is good for the brain
Not only can cycling keep you physically healthy, but studies show that it is good for the mind and brain. The repeated motion of pedaling prompts the production of new brain cells, helping to offset the decline of brain health that comes with age. As well as providing a natural morale boost thanks to the release of endorphins, the studies have also shown that cycling can make us more mentally resilient. This is something that stands you in good stead when on a challenging bike ride or race. In fact, we wrote a blog post on this subject worth reading: Train the Brain. The Power of Mental Suffering.
Cycling is accessible and easily incorporated into daily life
Finding ways of fitting in the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week may seem daunting to many. However, the versatility of cycling makes this very achievable. For example, you can go for short road rides over the course of the week, whether as part of a training ride or when running errands. If motivation is an issue, team up with a friend and arrange a regular road or mountain bike ride with them. Ride to local friends’ houses and social events, instead of taking the car or bus. These strategies will help you keep active without having to think too much about it (especially as it becomes a habit). If you are concerned with how to effectively bike commute, you may want to read our post, Summer Bike Commuting – Making it Work for You for tips and ideas on much-needed bike parts, cycling routes, and cycling accessories to have on hand for bike commuting.
It may seem harder to exercise as you get older, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The many bike routes in Colorado, together with the various cycling events offered in the state, ultimately means that there are several ways to embrace cycling in your later years. Doing so will help keep your emotional and physical health in good shape.