Is Cycling the Best Exercise to Fight Aging? A Health Benefits Guide
8 minute read
As you get older, it becomes harder and harder to stay active. That’s just an undeniable fact. It’s not your fault, it’s just that as we age, our joints and muscles get worn down due to years of wear and tear.
It becomes harder for our muscles to recover after a workout, and it can be difficult to stay active for as long as we were able to when we were younger.
But research shows that exercising into your old age can actually help slow down a lot of the signs of aging and keep you feeling energetic and youthful longer than if you lived a more passive lifestyle.
The Many Benefits of Cycling
One of the best ways for older folks to stay active is by riding a bike, or cycling. So why is cycling so good for you, especially if you’re creeping into old age? Well, there are a number of reasons why cycling is a healthy activity.
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Of course, if you’re worried about starting to incorporate cycling into your regular workout routine, you should check with your physician. But if you feel it’s a good fit, cycling can be a great way to boost your overall health for the following reasons:
Research shows that doing exercises like cycling can be a huge boost to your immune system, especially if you’re older. Being active and getting some fresh air can actually help keep your immune system running at levels typically seen in someone decades younger.
The human body is designed to be an active body, so sitting around in a sedentary lifestyle is one of the worst things you can do for your health and immunity. Even if you’re getting up in years, it’s best to stay active if you want to keep your immune system sharp.
Getting regular exercise has also been shown to help reduce stress. This is especially important because the stress hormone, cortisol, has been linked to a wide range of negative health effects.
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Too much stress can affect your mood, your heart health, and even your joints. Getting out on your bike for a few minutes and potentially getting some healthy sunlight are all ways to help reduce stress.
This may not be the first benefit you think of when you consider why cycling is good for you, but it’s true that getting an extra dose of exercise can definitely help boost your libido. Getting the blood flowing and waking up your muscles with a nice cycling workout can get you more interested in other forms of physical activity, including sex.
It may seem counterintuitive to think that an exhausting activity like cycling can help boost your energy levels, but it’s true. Getting even just a bit of exercise every day has been linked to an improved energy level throughout the day.
If you’ve noticed yourself feeling fatigued in the middle of the day, a morning bike ride might be just what you need to get yourself out of that funk.
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Fatigue is not something you should take lightly. It has been linked to a wide variety of more serious health effects, and it can definitely decrease your overall quality of life.
Especially as we get older, it can be difficult to keep our energy levels up. So if you’re looking for a natural way to boost energy, without the artificial stimulation of caffeine or energy drinks, getting some exercise in the form of cycling might be the answer you’re looking for.
Helps With Weight Loss
You might think this is an obvious benefit of cycling, but it bears repeating because it’s one of the most important. Getting on your biking and going for a ride is a great way to promote weight loss efforts.
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The bike ride will help you burn more calories, which is extremely important when it comes to weight loss. Plus, going on a regular bike ride will actually make you want to stay more active.
It will activate the so-called “runner’s high,” which is a release of dopamine in the brain that makes working out pleasurable. This will make it easier to add other exercises to your routine, which will only help your weight loss efforts.
Support Heart Health
Staying active and riding your bike is also a great way to help maintain healthy heart function. It will help keep your blood pumping normally, which is extremely important when it comes to heart health. There are very few things that are better for your heart than regular exercise, so adding cycling to your routine is certain to help improve your heart health, and it may even lower your risk for cardiovascular issues.
When you spend your days being active and burning energy, it helps you get more restful and quality sleep. The better your sleep, the better you feel during the waking hours. So if you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning all night, or if you regularly feel tired when you wake up in the morning, it might be a good idea to start cycling.
As we get older, it gets harder to build new muscle mass. Cycling won’t necessarily reverse this trend completely, but it certainly will help build muscles in your legs. If you’re trying to make your body stronger, cycling is a great way to do it, and unlike running on a treadmill or other common exercises, cycling is easier on your joints.
Improved Cognitive Function
In addition to the wide range of physical benefits you can feel from cycling regularly, it can also boost your cognitive focus if you go outside and get some exercise every day. Those feelings of “brain fog” can often be exacerbated by a lack of physical activity. So hopping on your bike and going for a quick ride is a great way to stimulate your mind and improve your mental sharpness.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are loads of benefits to cycling every day. Even as you get older, there’s still plenty of reasons to stay active, and cycling is a great way to do it. If you’ve been thinking about adding cycling to your exercise routine, hopefully this list of benefits will encourage you to do so.