As a senior you may forget quite a few things, but Smile Senior Care bets that you haven’t forgotten out to ride a bicycle. Bicycling is a great overall body workout that not only strengthens your cardio vascular system, but also builds those leg and abdominal muscles. Reducing joint pain, diabetes, and stress is also a desired side effect to bicycling. Being outdoors in the sunshine always benefits health.
Since Cycling is an aerobic exercise, your heart and lungs work harder than they would during a state of rest. The American Heart Association says even people with heart failure may engage in some form of moderate exercises such as walking, swimming or biking under physician supervision.
Seniors should take special precautions when getting back on a bicycle for the first time in years. If you are a family member or home care aide planning a bike trip for your elderly, be mindful that in all likely hood your senior will have hearing and sight impairments. Let’s go over a few safety tips before hitting the road.
First, Get Your Doctor’s Permission
As previously mentioned, many seniors have not ridden their bikes in years. Therefore they should receive physician clearance before starting any rigorous exercises. Your doctor can make you aware of any limitations you may have.
Make Sure Your Bike is in Good Condition
Checking the air in your tires and making sure you’re brakes are in tip-top condition is the #1 priority when inspecting a bicycle. You also want your bike to be comfortable. If you find you can no longer tolerate your seat, you can check out a recumbent bike. These bikes are a bit pricey, however they will allow you to sit back as if you were in a lounge chair and comfortably pedal to your destination.
You will want to start with short cycling trips. As you become strong, gradually widen your trip radius. Make sure you preplan your cycling routes. If you have a smart phone, Google Maps is great for plotting routes specific to bikers. Avoid high traffic areas. Stay on routes with bicycle planes. Wear bright clothing and NEVER ride your bike without a helmet.
Don’t Bike Alone
Invite at least one individual to accompany you on your trip. This can be a family member, friend or home care aide. In the event you run into some problems, it’s always assuring to have someone reliable to get help. If you are suddenly short of breath or feeling dizzy, stop immediately and have your partner call for help.