Indoor Cycling for Seniors

The Benefits of Indoor Cycling

The older we get, the more important it is for us to stay active. Unfortunately as we age, muscle and joint pains linger and pull us into a sedentary lifestyle. In turn, we become more susceptible to injury and the aging process.  It is widely known that exercise is beneficial for all of us, whether or not we live with Parkinson’s disease.  Recently, there have been more scientific studies regarding exercise and Parkinson’s.  Researchers are focusing on a variety of exercises types, such as aerobic exercise, resistance training, stretching, balance, and cycling.  I would like to address the specific benefits of indoor cycling for seniors, especially individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

First and foremost, indoor cycling is much easier on the joints compared to other forms of aerobic exercise.  Cardiovascular activities that require running expose your body to a great deal of shock impact.  Stationary bikes, like those used indoor cycling classes, are very joint-friendly.  They allow you to train your muscles against various resistance levels without compromising joint stability. This is especially important for an aging body, especially those living with Parkinson’s.

Indoor cycling also eliminates any concerns with balance issues. As we age, balance issues develop due to inactivity or inner ear problems. For instance, if you experienced a recent fall and now you are afraid to do activities without a walker or cane. This would certainly lead to some reservations about cycling, despite its many benefits. The last thing you want to do during any exercise routine is cause yourself serious injury. Indoor cycling removes the element of risk and the fear of falling so you can experience its health benefits. A well-structured cycling class allows you to go at your own pace and push yourself, yet feel safe and comfortable.

Indoor cycling also makes foul weather and road hazards irrelevant. No blizzard, thunderstorm, or blistering heat wave can get in the way of your workout. Indoor cycling also takes away concerns like careless drivers, narrow road shoulders, bumpy roads, and bike malfunctions, such as flat tires and loose chains.  It is imperative to exercise.  However, it is just as important to be safe and avoid risky situations.  Indoor cycling is a lot safer than biking outdoors.  With safety concerns out of the way, participants can focus more on their exercise.

Indoor cycling allows participants to choose their own intensity level. With a mobile bicycle, your resistance level depends on your surrounding landscape. Some areas may have more incline than you are prepared to handle. On a stationary bike, you have the ability to control your resistance levels. The rider has the ability to raise or lower the workout intensity according to his or her own personal goals. Indoor cycling gives the participants the ability to control their workout.

The aging process does not mean you have to lose your strength and your ability to do your everyday tasks. Exercise can help older adults enjoy life more, even those who think they are too old or out of shape. Indoor cycling is an activity that older adults, especially those with Parkinson’s, can benefit from. It is easier on the joints and takes away the fear of falling. So if you are looking for a new hobby, indoor cycling may be the activity for you.

How do you plan on staying active as you age? What do you think about trying indoor cycling? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below.

Marlie Doriston

B.S. Kinesiology

Certified Personal Trainer