Is Cycling for You at Over 50?

Is Cycling for You at Over 50?

Once you turn fifty, you might feel it is time to hang up those bicycle wheels and start taking up something a bit less challenging, but this is not the case – in fact, if the experts are right, cycling over 50 year olds is one of the most popular sports for individuals that fall into this age group.

It does not matter if you have little or no experience on a bicycle, here is everything you need to know about taking up this sport after 50.

The Decline of the Body

There is no way around it – as people begin to age, their body begins to decline and this is one of the things that puts many people off cycling over 50 year olds. While it is true that you will not be able to push yourself as hard as you did before, and you will not be able to recover as quickly when you do exercise, being aware of your limits can help you to work around them.

Start Off Slowly

Studies have demonstrated that the decline that is experienced by older individuals with regards to their maximum heart rate can be raised by those who work out on a regular basis, and this means that if you invest in your heart, you’ll be experiencing the same perks as those younger athletes.

Patience is the key for anyone who is just introducing themselves to the world of exercise, and of course, getting your doctor to sign off on your routine is a must. Once you have the right mindset, however, there will be nothing standing in your way of reaching your deserved fitness goals.

Train Smart

Smart training is more effective than simply jumping on a bike and peddling – something that is all too common when people take up cycling over 50 year olds. It is better to use a more structured approach to training, and to utilize a training program because this will help you see results from the first few weeks.

Furthermore, combining training with nutritional programs will allow you the chance to reap many more rewards, and to see a bigger difference in terms of how you look and feel.

over fiftys adventure holidays

Is Cycling for You at Over 50?

A Flexible Training Routine

As you age, it is imperative that you listen to your body and adjust your training routine accordingly. While cycling over fifty year olds might be a great way to finally whip that body into shape, it is definitely not “one size fits all” sort of approach.

If you find that you need to slow down, do so, but keep coming back to it – eventually you are going to start seeing results.

If you are still wondering whether cycling is for you at 50, the short answer is that it can be for just about everyone. Cycling is not just about exploring your local area on a bike – it is about cardio, strength training and endurance, and it could ultimately allow you to benefit from positive health-related effects for many years to come.

11 comments

  • 55andAmbitious

    Reality of “old age” sets in when we reach 50. With truth, as 50 golden years start rolling in, evidences of slow physical and mental decline begin to be felt and be reminded of the grim facts. I wish they don’t happen very quickly and very soon. But they do.

    The advice on regular exercise, training into cycling routine, even weight-lifting is best heeded and beneficial if we do it as an over 50 lifestyle. Believe it or not, my husband purchased a bicycle for me when I turned 50 as a birthday present. I biked for three months on our graveled road (most arduous task I’ve ever done in my life!). I felt the healthful benefits– the invigorating bicycling exercises, and enjoyable ride with my school-aged children on their bikes, too, on our country road.

  • I used to get around in my twenties exclusively by bicycle. I continued that way for years until I became a mother and it was just impractical to get around with a baby and a Burley Lite. I have kept in shape through the years through a variety of means, but bicycling has always maintained a special place in my heart.

    I recently started riding again and it feels fantastic. The low impact of it with the invigorating aspect of the wind in my hair and the beauty of the world around me as I ride. I am fortunate enough to live in a beautiful area with lots of beautiful scenery as I ride.

    Thank you for this article validating that it is more important now (I just turned 50 in April) than ever to seize my ability and opportunity to ride my bicycle often. Who knows, maybe I can do the Rosarita to Ensenada Fun Ride again this year (a tad optimistic but that is something I did during my peak cycling years until I got pregnant).

  • MariaGalla

    I completely agree with; 55andAmbitious’ statement: The moment you start hitting 50+ (and even moreso at 60+) you start to realize that you’re truly getting OLD. At that point I just wanted to give up and stop exercising, because I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. My husband kept going and still continues on working harder than most 20 year olds, but I still struggle with it.

    But biking, I’ve found, has been one of the few exercises I’m still able to do without feeling agonizing arthritis pain. I can only go a few minute at a time but I always feel proud of myself to get that amount in.

    This is a wonderful guide here, and has reinforced my determination to keep it up as well as I possibly can despite the limitations. Thank you for your work in writing this.

  • daniel007s

    To start off,I think cycling is both good for fun and fitness and the fun part is what makes it unique.I used to cycle for all my childhood and I realize everytime that cycling is the key of staying healthy and maintaing fast and good memory.There is no age limit for this practise because it’s easy and not very exhausting.So my advice is to continue cycling along your road and if you got bored you can make it more fun when you are acompanied by your wife or your kids.Please don’t quit it!!

  • CrowdedHighways

    If you want to restart riding a bicycle at this age, it is important to choose a bicycle that fits your needs as a woman of age. I took the time to talk with the salesman at the bicycle shop and he gave me very useful advice for choosing the right bicycle for me, and it’s been going great, but when my tires went flat and I had to borrow my friend’s bicycle for a weekend, my back started hurting and I could barely move out of the bed next morning. Remember, the right choice is very important.

  • RetJo

    Make sure you don’t have any issues with balance before jumping back on a bicycle. I have heard that our balance and proprioception deteriorate, and we rely heavily on eyesight to maintain our balance as we age. Another issue that might make it unwise to bicycle is hearing loss. I have both mild hearing loss and bouts of mild vertigo, so I am pretty sure it would be unsafe for me to take up cycling again.

    • amiew

      You could get an adult trike. They aren’t all the old clunky, ugly things they used to be. Some are quite sleek now, and they even have motorized versions. My next bike will be a trike.

  • amiew

    I’ll be 64 in a few months, and I had not been on a bicycle for 35 years when I found myself without a car and dependent on my bike and feet to get me around. I’m never going to be in a marathon, but I love riding my bike now and do it just for pleasure a lot of the time. I’ve regained that sense of flying that you had when you were younger, whizzing down the street on your bicycle. Of course, I’m terribly afraid of falling and getting hurt, but I still love my bike. I have baskets for getting groceries, and I’m looking for a nice trailer for it so I can haul larger things. PLUS, my legs have gotten so much stronger! When I first started, I had an old, rusty cruiser someone gave me for free. It was horrible! The back wheel was warped and scraped, and the seat wouldn’t adjust so I kept sliding forward when I rode. Just recently, I had someone give me a nice Schwinn 21 speed hybrid, and I’m just starting to really be able to go places I couldn’t go before because of the hills. I want to build up my endurance and hit the rail trail outside of town and see how far I can go.

  • Benoit W

    Hi аll, I gоt cаught up in thе wаrm wеаthеr аnd аctuаlly еndеd up riding 5 dаys in а rоw, with еаch ridе аbоut 30 milеs. Аll invоlvеd а lоt оf climbing (оvеr 3,000 ft) but оnly 2 wеrе аt а fаst wоrkоut pаcе (16+ mph аvе). Thе оthеr 3 ridеs wеrе mоrе cаsuаl with а slоwеr grоup but еаsiеr аt 14 оr sо mph.
    During yеstеrdаys ridе, my lеgs fеlt likе thеy just didn’t hаvе it аnd еvеn tоdаy, thеy аrе still cоmplаining а littlе. Nоt pаin, just а littlе sоrе but nоt giving оut, shаky оr аnything likе thаt.
    Nоw, 30 milе ridеs аrе shоrt fоr mе аnd yеstеrdаys wаs 31 milеs but my lеgs wеrе dоnе. I nеvеr еxpеriеncеd thаt bеfоrе whеrе it cаrriеd оvеr tо thе nеxt dаy. Оbviоusly I аm tаking tоdаy оff frоm thе bikе but wоndеrеd whаt hаppеnеd, unlеss it is nоrmаl fаtiguе. I’m а fаirly nеw ridеr, riding fоr 7 mоnths (I gоt tо ridе thrоugh mоst оf thе NYS Cаtskills Wintеr). I’vе bееn tirеd bеfоrе but аlwаys gооd tо gо thе nеxt dаy, but nоt this timе… my lеgs аrе sаying wе аrе tаking а brеаk.

  • blazeC

    I watched my granddaughters take their bikes out for the first Spring spin a few days ago. They were exuberant and joy-filled. The older granddaughter had insisted on buying a pot-shaped helmet which reminded Grandpa and I of something a biker would wear– but when she put it on she looked very much like a young young damsel geared up for riding English saddle on a horse. She was so pleased when I suggested that. Her little sister chimed in, “Hey, we can pretend we’re on horses”.

    Your article, the encouraging comments, and seeing my little granddaughters so happy on their bikes has got me thinking about my own bike out in the garage. I have ridden it once over the past three years. I believe that I will be taking it out soon, and following the instructions in this article to work up to (and back to) the kind of joyful sense of flying that amieu mentions above in her comment!

  • I am 49, almost 50 and I cycle regularly. On average I cycle 7 miles total round trip, three times a week, I definitely do not l find this to be especially challenging because of my age, and I don’t have a particularly athletic history. I’m also usually carrying products from shopping while out bicycling, and I’ve transported up to 20 lbs on a front and rear bike basket combined, as well as a few items in a backpack. I will say that when I first started regular cycling two years ago it was very tough on my legs, even after just a mile. However after several months that discomfort completely went away. My legs quickly became much stronger, as well as looking very toned. It doesn’t take long. I find the only thing that makes cycling difficult now is if it is a windy day, which makes the legs work harder. I am glad I cycle a lot. I believe this will certainly have benefit me in maintaining strong bones into my sixties and seventies, as well as a bit of sun exposure on the skin to get sufficient vitamin D. I also live in Florida where we have a large population of older individuals and I know many people who cycle well beyond 50. If you plan to cycle a distance from home, I recommend purchasing a decent bicycle as opposed to a big box store bicycle. One reason for this is that flats in tire tubes now and then are inevitable and you need to be able to remove your wheel easily to replace tubes. Some of the big box store bicycles are not easy to take apart for repairs or add accessories too, such as a rear bike rack. If budget is an issue I recommend looking at Craigslist. I am on a budget and was thrilled to find a used Schwinn Fleet for only $80. This bicycle new would retail close to $300. It’s far better to have a used higher quality bicycle than a shiny new low end model.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *