Cycling For Seniors Made Easy
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Cycling For Seniors Made Easy

Seniors can have fun while exercising. Riding a bike is a great way to exercise, but for many elderly people, a two wheel bike is a challenge to their balance and strength capabilities. A three wheel bike, a trike, is a good alternative. They are safe and steady and help improve joint and muscle strength as well as cardio function. -+

As we age, exercise should remain a vital part of our lives. It is always a smart idea to keep moving and work on keeping our bodies flexible and strong. So say the doctors and anyone who cares to offer advice. We all know that it is just good sense. We have all heard the commercial aimed at the elderly that states, “a body in motion stays in motion,” and implies that those of us who don't move much will soon lose our ability to move at all if we don't get ourselves in gear.

There are certain exercise activities wed should avoid that can damage bones, joints and muscles. We should avoid exercise that involves high impact to those areas. As an example: The pounding we endure while running or jogging can cause problems Riding a bike is a excellent alternative method. It provides a workout without causing impact injuries. If an older person is relatively fit, a brisk sustained bike ride may be the perfect exercise. However, some elderly have an issue with strength, durability and balance. If that is the situation you face, there is good news.

There is a better, safer way to ride. It provides a rider with adequate heart and cardio activity along with improved muscle strength and more body flexibility. That “better way" to ride is on a 3 wheeled tricycle, a trike. This cycle apparatus is approximately the size of a standard adult bike. The difference is that it has two wheels in the rear and one in the front. The front wheel is steered by the conventional handlebars. The brake lever is attached and operated on the handlebar, as well. The two rear wheels are chain driven, and provide the balance so needed by elderly riders. Situated behind the large, comfortable bike seat is a carry basket that fits between the rear wheels. It is a handy carrier for many items including groceries.

Unlike recumbent bikes that sit low to the ground, trikes are at the correct height to allow a rider to stand upright and sit easily on the ample seat. Unlike some bikes, the seat is comfortable to sit on and can be height adjusted for a perfect fit.

Once mounted, the trike performs much as a two wheeler. The difference is in the turning. Riders soon learn to lean outward of the direction of their turns to keep the trike from tipping. The technique is easily mastered. After an hour or so of riding along safe bike paths, anyone can be an expert trike rider.

Obviously, over zealous riders can get in some trouble if they don't use common sense. It is advisable to wear a bicycle helmet when riding to protect yourself from head injuries in the event of a fall.

Trikes have gained immense popularity in "Over 55” communities, particularly in the South. Many residents find the trikes perfect for short trips to the grocery or to visit neighbors and friends. Many who return to their Northern homes in spring, bring their three-wheelers back and use them in and around the northern sub divisions.

These trikes are a whole lot more fun than riding a stationery bike inside your home. You can tour the neighborhoods and make new friends along the way. Be sure to equip your bike with a high flying flag, reflectors and lights to make yourself highly visible on the road at nightfall.

As far as prices, a basic, new three wheeler can be purchased for about $400. Others with more features, better ride and styling, can cost up to $1200. If you currently spend time in or near an “over 55 community,” look for used trikes that pop up frequently as the elderly stop using them. Often they can be found for $100 to $200. Maintenance and repairs are simple. If you were able to perform needed maintenance when you were eleven or twelve years old, you could no doubt do it now.

So what's holding you up? Get pedaling today and live longer, stronger and healthier.

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Comments (2)

Very good advice on cycling for seniors, thank you.

I bought my fitnmess bike about six years ago and love getting out there with the wind in my face!