Exercise bikes are a fantastic way to tone up your leg muscles and stay in great shape.
These benefits do not only apply to the young and already fit. The low intensity and non-destructive exercises that get done on bikes can be perfect for the elderly as well.
There is absolutely no age limit on these benefits.
You can be 55 or 105, and you can still benefit from exercise bikes. In this article we are covering all the amazing benefits traditional, tandem bikes & exercise bicycles can have for seniors.
1. Heart Health
Training regularly on an exercise bike promotes a lower heart rate and as a result a less stressed heart. When the heart is not under any unnecessary stress, your blood pressure lowers and ensures proper blood circulation throughout the body.
In the elderly, this is especially important. Over time our arteries become clogged and pump less blood throughout our body.
This issue causes the heart to become enlarged, and it's what makes simple tasks like climbing stairs or walking long distances more difficult.
Through regular exercise biking, seniors can see lower heart rates, lower blood pressure, and better blood circulation. All of these things combined lower the risk of fatal heart disease and stroke.
2. Respiratory Health
While cycling does not improve lung capacity, it does reduce the amount of oxygen your body needs during exercise. This will enhance your ability to breathe during regular everyday activities.
Lack of oxygen contributes to a lot of issues such as depression, anxiety, and lethargy. If you feel bogged down all the time, it may be because your muscles require too much oxygen just to function, which is typical in the elderly.
Using an exercise bike on a regular basis helps produce more oxygen for your muscles which balances out the amount of oxygen you require to do things like clean your house or mow the grass. This ultimately should give you more energy on a regular basis.
3. Muscle Health
Obviously exercising on a bike is excellent for toning up your thighs and calves but as a senior citizen that is not always a big issue. Stationary bicycles for the elderly can strengthen up your legs which help reduce soreness and stiffness.
The low resistance nature of these exercises also makes it easy for someone suffering from back or knee pain to stick to an exercise routine. The workouts are adaptable to the unique person and their issues. Building muscle in the legs is essential for the overall mobility of senior citizens.
Exercise bikes are also useful for upper body strength. In upright bicycles, you are required to hold on to the handlebars to hold yourself up.
This works the biceps and triceps which are the two major muscles in the arms. Strong arm muscles are useful for senior citizens, so they can continue their normal activities without fear of pulling a muscle or hurting themselves.
4. Reduce Diabetes Risk
When anyone exercises, it uses up the bodies glucose and ultimately lowers blood sugar levels. Since diabetes is excess sugar in the blood, physical activities like cycling are capable of promoting low glucose for people with diabetes.
This is especially true after meals when people with diabetes run into issues with insulin levels. Exercising after meals lower blood glucose resulting in less insulin needed and better blood sugar regulation.
5. Joint Health
Using an exercise bike is very gentle in comparison to running. The only thing that would be better for elderly joints is aquatics which is also very popular. Exercise bikes are low intensity which makes it perfect for people struggling with knee or back injuries.
If you are considering an exercise bike regimen, it's always best to contact your physician before starting anything.
6. Lower Cholesterol
Athletic activities like cycling promote good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Doing this reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Regular cycling can help with a variety of cardiovascular diseases.
7. Prevent Alzheimer's
It's important for people of all ages to participate in regular exercise. This is especially important as we age because athletic activities stimulate brain activity and keep us sharp. Doing this can reduce or slow down the effects of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Gentle exercises like cycling are great because it does not require a ton of energy, anyone can get started quickly, and even if you are suffering from an injury or pain, you can still cycle.
The best exercise bikes for seniors
Recumbent bikes for seniors are the best way to go.
This type of bike is more comfortable on your back and knees because you sit in a more relaxed position. Here, you lie back as you cycle which puts less pressure on your joints and lets you focus more on the cardiovascular benefits of cycling.
This type of bike is easier to get in and out of so for those people dealing with issues of stiffness and soreness this can also be a great way to get the blood pumping.
The seat on recumbent bikes is more closely compared to a car bucket seat. This style makes them a lot more comfortable and appealing to people; It also makes the exercise more enjoyable which ultimately results in a longer workout and better results.
Recumbent bikes are also much safer because you are not in a high upright position. It is impossible to fall off a recumbent bike, and the risk of injuring your back or knees is much less due to nature of your position on the bike.
Getting into a regular workout routine on an indoor cycling bike has tremendous health benefits for the elderly. If you are struggling to find an exercise that works for you, try a recumbent bike regimen. It's gentle on your body and a great way to get started.
The key to a successful workout routine is to listen to your body and take good care of it. Good luck!