If you're looking to take up a new hobby and improve your fitness, cycling might be the safest and most rewarding option for you. Cycling is a great way of keeping fit and healthy, without putting too much pressure on your body. Today's article will share some of the benefits of cycling to help you get started.
Fortunately, it appears that many of you already are already getting out there on your bike. According to recent statistics, more than 10% of Brits now cycle once per week or more. This is very encouraging, as the NHS recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.
For other sport and fitness hobby ideas, please take a look at our main article. Now, let's look at the top 5 benefits of cycling for older people.
5. Protect Your Immune System
As we get older, our immune systems naturally become weaker and produce fewer T-cells, which are important in the fight against diseases. However, a 2018 study suggests that cycling can ward off the effects of ageing and keep your immune system strong. The study tested 125 amateur cyclists aged between 55 and 79, and compared them to other healthy adults from a wide age group who did not exercise on a regular basis.
The results indicated that the older cyclists were still producing as many T-cells as young people. The cyclists also preserved muscle mass and strength with age, whilst maintaining stable levels of body fat and cholesterol. Males involved in the study also kept high levels of testosterone. The Guardian explains further:
An organ called the thymus, which makes immune cells called T-cells, normally starts to shrink from the age of 20. But the thymuses of older cyclists were found to be generating as many T-cells as those of young people."
4. Low Impact, High Reward
It's perfectly normal to feel a little achy after a good workout. However, intense exercise can cause real discomfort for some older people, especially if they have problems with their joints (such as arthritis). Fortunately, like swimming, cycling is a low impact activity which causes very little stress on the joints.
This is because cycling involves smooth and steady circular movements, which let you spread the impact of the exercise across multiple joints. This compares to the intense pressure that running places on the joints.
Many experts recommend cycling for people who are recovering from an injury, due to this gentle impact on the joints.
3. Cycling is a sociable activity
Although cycling alone is a great way to get away from the world and relax, cycling in teams or groups is also very popular. There are cycling groups all over the country - and let's not forget that teamwork is a huge part of the Tour de France.
Cycling as a group is a great way to meet new people. It can also help you to push yourself further as you look to keep up with your new cycling friends. Different members of the group can outline new circuits and come up with new ways to motivate everybody.
2. It's Good for the Heart and Body
Another one of the benefits of cycling is that it's great for your cardiovascular health. Not only does cycling reduce the risk of death from all causes by more than 40%, it also cuts the risk of cancer and heart disease by 45%. In fact, riding a bike regularly can increase your cardiovascular health by 3-7%.
In addition, by cycling for around 30 minutes each day, you also reduce the risk of several other conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. This is caused, partly, by the fact you can burn at least 300 calories an hour on your bike.
Cycling works as the perfect cardio workout, as it helps burn fat and builds muscle - especially in your legs and hips. As you cycle for longer, you'll soon realise that you're able to ride long distances at an improved pace. Over time, your stamina will improve and your muscles will allow you to cycle harder for longer. This will also give you a great sense of achievement - yet another benefit of cycling!
1. It can save you money
Aside from all of the health and social benefits of cycling, it can also have a positive impact on your finances. Getting on your bike is a much better idea than always jumping into the car and paying for petrol, parking, and congestion charges.
It's also going to be a lot cheaper than paying for public transport. Of course, if you're going for the weekly shop you might need to use the car. However, if you're heading into work or to meet up with friends, why not save your money and cycle into the city?
After a month of choosing cycling over motorised transport, we think you'll be shocked at just how much money you have saved. It can also save you plenty of time as well:
Cyclists are less likely to get caught up in traffic, and it has been suggested that in major cities cycling can cut the time it takes to commute by up to 50 percent. The ability to rely on the time of a journey is important for the majority of people, and is especially a factor if the journey is a commute to work. - Simply Supplements
As well as saving you money and time, the benefits of cycling extend to the environment too!
Personal Alarm Information
Cycling is a great way to maintain your health and fitness - if you're looking for some extra peace of mind, it's worth considering a Lifeline alarm. For more information about our life-saving personal alarm service, please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, go to our Contact page and submit your query using our online form. We'll be in touch as soon as possible.
Editor's Note: This article was updated on 07 December 2020 to reflect current information. It was originally published in May 2018.