Physical activity often decreases as women get older, but there are more physical and mental health risks in women who are not active. Cycling is a great, low impact form of cardiovascular exercise ideal for those who want to lose some weight or those who want to lift their mood. Here are some of the health benefits associated with cycling that Baby Boomers can take advantage of.
Women over 50 are at higher risk of having a heart attack, therefore it is important to keep active, ensuring the heart stays healthy. A walk a day can be helpful but some cardiovascular exercise that gets the heart pumping is better.
Cycling is a great way to do this without putting too much strain on the heart and body. Invest in a bike that will suit the type of cycling you intend to do. For example, a light, sturdy bike is best for fast, active cardio cycling, whereas a well-made, recumbent bike will suit riders who prefer longer cycle routes.
Reduce Risk of Depression
Women in general are at greater risk of becoming depressed than men. A study published in World Psychiatry showed that, as the baby boomer generation approaches menopause, the risk of depression grows much higher. Prevention is key and some lifestyle changes can help reduce the risks.
Cycling is ideal later in life as it encourages women to get outdoors as well as exercise. Harvard Medical School suggests that more time spent in nature reduces the risk of stress, depression, and anxiety. Going on a cycle trail with friends is a great way to combat low mood.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that is ideal for those with osteoarthritis. Running and jogging are types of high impact exercise that can affect the joints adversely later in life, making cycling a better option to strengthen the muscles around the knees.
Low-intensity cycling has been shown to improve functioning, capability, and decrease pain in arthritis patients. The trick is to adapt it according to your needs. Take it easy on the fast-cycling if experiencing any pain and take a slower ride on the beach instead.
Although cycling does not have to be strenuous, you should always check with your physician if you intend to start a new exercise program, particularly if you suffer from any underlying conditions. Otherwise, join your local cycling club to meet new people and enjoy the outdoors.
Do you enjoy riding a bike or plan on trying it out? Where are your favorite places to ride? Please leave a comment below.