May is National Bike Month. Riding your bicycle is low-impact, relaxing, fun and has lots of social, economic and health benefits. Riding through the Twin Rivers Senior Apartment Community, nearby parks, and trails is a fun activity which helps you socialize with family and friends. Taking your bike to run errands saves money on gas, and one less car on the road is kinder to the environment.
The Health Benefits of Cycling
Best of all, there are many ways that cycling can improve senior health. If you are thinking about giving cycling a try this spring, consider these five benefits:
- ?Mental health. Exercise such as cycling can help keep the brain sharp and healthy which prevents memory loss and cognitive decline.
- ?Physical health. Cycling is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise which aids circulation, increases lung capacity, helps to decrease high blood pressure and cholesterol, and can help prevent heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke.
- ?Reduce Stress. Cycling helps your body release feel-great hormones which will promote a positive mood and increase your energy. Cycling can help you to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and is a great way to relax and clear the mind.
- ?Improve mobility. Cycling is an excellent cardiovascular exercise because you work up a sweat and burn lots of calories, but you are not putting a lot of pressure on your joints. A recent study found that elderly patients with knee pain and osteoarthritis improved their condition when cycling was introduced to their routines, proving that as we get older, taking time to exercise—even just spinning a few minutes a day—can be hugely beneficial. Cycling helps to build muscle strength, without making you feel sore.
- ?Control weight. Carrying extra weight can put seniors at risk for diabetes as well as other health problems. The best way to lose weight is to eat healthy, natural food and to create a caloric deficit by staying physically active. Getting regular exercise by cycling can help seniors to keep their weight within a healthy range and keeps muscles healthy and toned.
Check with your doctor before starting any physical activity. Wear a helmet and obey the rules of the road. Always ride safely, preferably in a group.