TheBoldAge takes a look at how cycling can help as we age

Boldies: Fancy improving your overall health and well-being, cycling is a great way and its sustainable to

Published by Nigel Pritchard on Mar 31, 2021

Being an avid reader there are several ways I’m aware of for staying young forever. First you can sell your soul to the devil, second take a drink from the holy grail, or lastly become a card-carrying vampire. As you can tell there are a couple of issues in my thinking and none are going to be a viable option.

Bursting the reality of eternal youth means we are all going to get old. The good news, however, is that how we age is in our own hands and getting older does not mean we have to give-up or slow down. There are plenty of activities out there to ensure we continue to have a full and active life. Cycling, which I love, is one and can help to slow down the ageing process.

## Am I too old to start cycling?

Being old is no barrier to cycling, you just have to look at the cyclists on the road or go along to your local cycling club where you are just as likely to see people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and older. Some of whom will have got into cycling in their later years, ride regularly and can give their younger counterparts a real run for their money.

Golf used to be the go-to sport for the older person but many of us Boldies are also picking up cycling for the first time, or in my case, returning to it after a long, long break.

## So, what are the health benefits?

Getting out on the road and the legs spinning will improve your cardio-vascular fitness, burn those extra calories and help you to manage your weight. Add some strength training in be that; weights, some simple muscle strengthening exercises you can do at home (more of that in a later article) or even just spinning the wheels in a slightly higher gear, will help you build strength, balance and muscle definition.

Research has shown that all of this has ‘knock-on’ health benefits such as helping your immune system or reducing the risk of certain cardio-vascular diseases.  

Cycling outdoors also helps with maintaining vitamin D levels, essential in the maintenance of strong bones, by helping the body use the calcium in your diet.

It’s not only your body that benefits it can also help with memory, cognitive decline and brain function.

Cycling also helps mental wellbeing, just being out riding with friends or yourself in the open air, aids with loneliness, anxiety and depression.

## What other benefits does cycling provide?

Cycling is a community and it’s a great way to meet new people, socialise with friends and most certainly promotes inter-generational connectivity. You’ll laugh and learn so much at the coffee and bun stops, which feature on most group rides. Start one yourself.    

## How easy is it to get into cycling?

Hopefully, this article has given you the inspiration to give cycling a go though we know it can be a little bit daunting be it the terminology, equipment or clothing. You may even be concerned how you may look. Have no fear, we riders come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and ages. Everyone is super helpful and more than happy to provide advice, just go along to your nearest club or cycling shop.

Nor do you have to worry about ability. Not only can you go out, by yourself, or, with a couple of friends who may also be starting out, but most clubs have different ability groups when going for a spin.

We all get older, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to age at the same speed. Especially today where we have so many opportunities to actively slow this process down. Go on give cycling a go.

## Boldie Links
– British cycling has a lot of content on starting out and affiliated clubs see the link here
– In this British cycling article they discuss cycling in your 50’s, 60’s and beyond, see the link here