How will bike riding help my health as I age?

Any exercise will help keep you feeling young. Always remember, you are only as old as feel.

Cycling has many benefits. The impact is light on your body, especially your knees! As we age so do our knees and we want to avoid this as much as possible. Completing aerobic activities, such as cycling will help build strong muscles around your knees. The stronger these muscles are and the less pain we may experience. Some stress will occur in your shoulder and back but with good core strength this stress will be minimal, depending on the course.

Dawn Marcus
A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity investigated the benefits of bicycle riding in healthy, sedentary seniors ages 70-80. All of the participants in their study were men. These previously inactive men trained on an exercise bike three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes per session for a total of four months. Then they stopped training and returned to their previous sedentary activity for a month. As you might expect, during the training, they had an increase in breathing capacity, muscle strength, and muscle mass. After they stopped training, however, the gains in muscle strength and mass were lost.

What are the take-home messages?
  • You’re never too old to benefit from aerobic exercise.
  • Regular aerobic exercise will make you fit.
  • Regular aerobic exercise will make you strong and build muscles --
           even you, Grandpa!
  • You’ve gotta keep exercising to maintain the benefits to your
           muscles and joints.
Remember, before starting any new exercise program, talk to your doctor. And start a new program slowly with gradual increases. Your target aerobic exercise should be 150 minutes total per week, but you may need to build up to that, especially if you’ve been very inactive or have other health problems.

Continue Learning about Cycling

Bike Accidents are Up for Adults, Down for Kids
Bike Accidents are Up for Adults, Down for Kids
David Byrne, front man and cofounder of the Talking Heads, is also an avid bicyclist. In 2010 he wrote Bicycle Diaries; tales of riding his bike in fa...
Read More
Benefits of Biking to Work
Benefits of Biking to Work
One of Denmark’s most famous sons was storyteller Hans Christian Anderson. He authored The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor’s New Clo...
Read More
What do I need to know before trying an indoor cycling class?
Alison Zemanek , NASM Elite TrainerAlison Zemanek , NASM Elite Trainer
One of the most important things to know before trying an indoor cycling class is that you have full...
More Answers
If I bike, commute and train could I be overdoing it?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Your concern about overdoing is a viable one. Your commute ride does need to be incorporated int...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.