Taking Up Biking as a Hobby for Women Over 50

By on March 3, 2017
Taking Up Biking as a Hobby for Women Over 50

By Diane Cunnings –

Cycling is a wonderful hobby for women over 50. In fact, the sport is gaining momentum with older adults. Biking is enjoyable, provides low-impact exercise and often serves to improve your social network. Older adults who take up cycling commonly find the activity changes their lives in many different ways.

  1. Improves Sleep

Indulging in cycling has been shown to improve sleep quality. Being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine commonly helps reboot the body’s circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. The exercise also helps eliminate stress and reduce cortisol levels. A group of researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine gathered sedentary individuals complaining of having insomnia. During the study, the volunteers were required to go biking for 20 to 30 minutes every other day. By the end of the research, the participants fell asleep in half the time and were able to increase the amount of nightly sleep by one hour.

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  1. Rejuvenates Appearance

Dermatologists from Stanford also found that regularly biking protects skin from UVA and UVB radiation in addition to improving blood circulation. In this way, skin receives more oxygen-rich nutrients and is better able to produce collagen and elastin. The activity also serves to rid the body of harmful toxins by perspiring.

  1. Enhances Cognitive Function

Scientists from the University of Illinois learned that cycling leads to the enhancement of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. With more blood, oxygen and nutrients traveling to the brain, cognitive ability improved up to 15 percent in the study participants. The nutritional boost enables the hippocampus to build new neuron connections. This area of the brain is responsible for learning and memory. Paralympic cyclist Billy Lister regularly speaks to people about the benefits of cycling, and how the sport helped him heal from a stroke he suffered at the age of 17.

  1. Boosts Immunity

Researchers from the University of North Carolina performed a study to determine the health benefits of biking. Of the participants in the study, those who rode for 30 minutes up to five times a week had half as many sick days. Physicians from the St. George’s Hospital in Great Britain report that cycling is considered moderate exercise. This level of activity is known to activate the body’s infection fighting white cells. In a study involving more than 2,400 twins, London’s King College researchers learned that individuals who engaged in 45-minute bike rides three times weekly were biologically younger despite having any negative health factors. Cycling regularly has the potential to decrease the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

  1. Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

It takes more energy and materials to make a vehicle compared to manufacturing a bike. Bikes also do not create smog. In terms of city life, studies suggest that vehicle passengers and drivers inhale 10 times more pollutants than cyclists.

Choosing a Bike

Selecting the right bike makes all the difference as to whether cycling becomes an enjoyable experience. Unlike decades in the past, today, there are many different styles of bikes from which to choose. Make your decision based on your body type, comfort and ease of riding. Consider whether your cycling adventures will take place on paved roads, off-road or a combination of the two. Are you comfortable with using multiple speeds or prefer a basic one-speed bike? Physical limitations may necessitate choosing a recumbent bike, one that offers pedal assist or a style equipped with an intermittent electric motor.

Basic Riding Tips

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, wearing a properly fitting helmet while riding a bike is a must. Statistics indicate that helmets prevent serious injuries 90 percent of the time. When on paved streets, remember to travel in the same direction as traffic. This makes road signs and traffic signals more visible. Cyclists are also more visible to vehicles. Cyclists should follow the general rules of the road the same as any other vehicle. Ride smart and enjoy your new found hobby.

 

Diane is an on-line entrepreneur. She is a food science graduate. Her passion is in biking, yoga, and enjoying great food! She believes that everything has to be in balance. She hopes she can be an inspirational figure in health and nutrition aspects by sharing her experiences in writing.

 

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Taking Up Biking as a Hobby for Women Over 50