Cycling is one of the best exercises for seniors. It can promote blood circulation, maintain or improve cardiovascular health, and is one of the forms of cardio that will put the least stress on your joints. However, if you’ve been cycling at a high level all your life, you will have to slow down as you get older. You might feel as though you’re still fine but going too hard at this moment could cause injuries. You also have to know how to monitor your overall health so you can avoid incidents. Let’s take a look at a few essential health tips for ageing cyclists.
Pay Very Special Attention to Heart Health
As you get older, you will need to pay close attention to your heart rates when you’re doing any form of intense exercise. You also have to look out for symptoms of heart disorders. One of the most common heart issues for cyclists is arrhythmias and there are warning signs that will show you if you might be suffering from it. If you get lightheaded when riding, or you have blacked out once, then this is one of the biggest signs that something is wrong. Other things to watch out for include unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a drop in heart rate while riding.
Paying attention to your diet is vital for heart health too. For instance, the benefits of eating a cherry and other fruits are well known, with fruit-rich diets being associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Cherries in particular are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that are known to promote heart health. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are a good source of minerals, like magnesium too.
If you’re dealing with any of the symptoms, like unexplained fatigue and chest pains, we would suggest that you visit a private cardiologist like Dr. Georgios Karagiannis right away. This private cardiologist has been serving the community for many years and will be able to tell you exactly what the situation is. He will then be able to propose and administer different treatments based on your condition.
Protect Your Knees
Knee health is another thing you'll need to pay very close attention to as an ageing cyclist. While cycling is one of the easiest exercises for the joints, years of riding will take their toll on your body, and you will need to make some adjustments. If you’ve never paid attention to your pedal stroke, you will need to do so right away. If you have access to a stationary bike, put it in front of a mirror and start pedalling. You should see a straight line from your shins to your knees when you pedal. If they’re unaligned, then your stroke could eventually cause discomfort or injuries. If you don’t have a stationary bike, ask one of your friends to record you as you’re riding towards them so you can analyse your stroke after.
Get the Proper Bike
Your bike should be ergonomic and properly fitted. If you’ve been using the same bike for the last 20 years, there’s a good chance that it’s outdated, so we would suggest you pick up a new one.
More recent bikes are much lighter and require less effort than older models. They tend to be more ergonomic as well. Make sure to have the bike fitted by a professional too.
These are all tips you should follow if you’re an older cyclist and want to keep reaping the benefits of the sport. Take care of yourself on and off the road, and always remember to listen to your body.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.