Cycling is for Seniors (and everyone else)

We’re all getting older and with age comes wisdom, experience, deeper insight, and aches and pains we never knew existed. Aging is the gift that keeps on giving and as we grow older, it gets easier and easier to receive this “gift.”

Our bodies start to decline as soon as age 35. After we reach our biological peak, we start to lose muscle and our heart and lung function weakens. Super encouraging, I know. But the good news is…cycling can actually slow down this process! It’s our very own Fountain of Youth. Aging doesn’t mean that we have to stop doing the things we love and especially doesn’t mean we should stop being active.

Cycling is especially good for seniors, and provides numerous health benefits including:
• the strengthening of muscles through low impact
• the promotion of good mental health
• the prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia
• the management of healthy weight
• the support of the heart and immune system

And there’s more good news…you aren’t alone. Studies have also shown that in the US, 37% of new cyclists are 65 years or older. So, there’s no reason to feel like you’re the only senior participating in the sport, because you’re not! Cycling is not only great for the body, but it can also promote an increase in social activities through cycling groups. Social interaction is a powerful tool that helps prevent depression and potentially lowers blood pressure in the elderly. Local groups and social media alike promote plenty of group cycling options – if you’re over 50 and thinking about cycling, this Cycling Over 50 Facebook page is a great place to start.

Now that you understand the body and mind benefits of cycling, it’s time to start planning your cycling vacation. Understandably, a concern might be your ability to cycle multiple miles per day, multiple days in a row and/or your ability to keep up with your group. Being able to experience any destination on two wheels is unforgettable and shouldn’t be missed. Thankfully there are plenty of options that support this event at any age. E-bikes are a great alternative to a traditional hybrid or road bike. The electric assist of an e-bike can help you conquer your cycling vacation with ease, making it easier to get back on the saddle each morning. Another good idea is to look for tour companies that offer different daily routes, as well. LifeCycle Adventures provides three different routes per day depending on cycling experience and ability. These are great ways to pace yourself and customize your trip for your needs.

George, an 82-year-old, past guest of LifeCycle Adventures said during his tour, “At 82, if I don’t ride this route today, I probably never will.” Let the determination of George be the anthem for all seniors who are debating whether or not they should get on their bikes. You’re not alone and your body will thank you for taking that first ride!

Read our Cycling Tour Guide’s View of E-bikes.