Guest post by Instructor & Studio Owner Pauline Geraci
According the Administration for Community Living (ACL), people 65-plus represented 12.4 percent of the population in the year 2000 but are expected to grow to be 19 percent of the population by 2030.
Let’s face it, we are not getting any younger. As we age, the more important it is for us to stay active. But the older we get, the harder it is activity becomes.
We start developing muscle and joint pains and other issues which we sometimes use as an excuse to become less physically active which in turn makes us more prone to injury and the aging process. What to do?
Indoor cycling meets many of our aging population’s needs. For starters, it is a great cardiovascular workout. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that healthy adults ages 18-65 years old should participate in aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days per week or vigorous intensity, aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes, three days per week.
An indoor cycling class will keep your heart rate up long enough to provide health benefits. A physical activity that includes continuous cardiovascular activity can help lower your risk of coronary artery disease, can help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, and can help lower your overall resting heart rate.
As we age, we start to develop balance issues because of inactivity or inner ear problems. Maybe we have fallen once and now are afraid to do activities without relying on a walker or cane. You certainly don’t feel comfortable riding a bike outdoors. Indoor cycling eliminates your concerns with balance issues. Indoor cycling removes the element of risk and the fear of falling so you can experience its health benefits. A good cycling class allows you to go at your own pace and push yourself, yet feel safe and comfortable.
Another worry for seniors is finding a cardiovascular workout that is low to no impact. Indoor cycling offers a high intensity low impact workout. Many people who recently have recovered from orthopedic injuries turn to indoor cycling to help them get back on track.
Remember, as with all physical activity you are about to embark on, make sure you get clearance from your doctor. Indoor cycling, when done correctly, provides minimal impact on the hip, knee and ankle joints.
Because of the circular motion of riding a bike, your knees properly flex and extend, while avoiding the high impact pounding of other activities such as running or certain aerobic type classes.
Another issue of aging is age-related sarcopenia. People who are physically inactive can lose as much as 3-5 percent of their muscle mass per decade after age 30. Even if you are active, you still will experience some muscle loss.
A benefit of indoor cycling is increased muscular endurance. This refers to the ability of a muscle to continually and repeatedly exert force over an extended period of time. In an indoor cycling class, you pedal against resistance which increase the endurance of the leg muscles: legs, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus and even the calf muscles.
Working out these muscles also will help to strengthen the surrounding bones, tendons and ligaments which also help you with balance issues.
In turn, this increased strength means you’ll be able to perform your daily activities with greater ease.
Riding outdoors is great but there are safety and weather issues to contend with. You can’t make excuses about not working out because of the weather when you ride indoors. Indoor cycling also allows you to be free from concerns such as negligent motorists, narrow road shoulders, going downhill too fast and bike malfunctions (flat tires, loose chains, etc.).
It’s good to get outdoors and exercise whenever possible, but it’s also important to keep from putting yourself at unnecessary risk, especially at an age when each fall is a little harder to get up from than the last.
The ability to choose your own resistance also makes indoor cycling an ideal fitness class for seniors. On an outdoor ride, your resistance level is dependent on your surrounding terrain. On any given route in Sequim you will find inclines that you are not prepared to handle. You also may not feel challenged during an outdoor ride.
Indoor cycling will definitely challenge you! Indoor bikes come with resistance knobs. This allows you to raise or lower the intensity of the workout to meet your physical restraints and/or fitness goals.
Many people, not just seniors, would like to lose some weight. If your fitness goals include weight and/or fat loss, you’ve come to the right place.
According to spinning.com, you can burn anywhere between 400-600 calories per average 45-minute class.
Since it takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat, just 5-8 indoor cycling classes, combined with a healthy diet can help you meet your New Year goals!
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to stop the aging process. But don’t let that excuse you from engaging in your favorite activities. Come and enjoy a safe and exhilarating workout experience at indoor cycling classes nearest to you!
Pauline Geraci is owner of Fit4Life Studio, 1245 W. Washington St., Sequim. See www.fit4lifesequim.com.
This article first appeared at www.sequimgazette.com
Originally posted 2015-03-04 16:19:10.
John is a member on the AFS (Association of Fitness Studios) Advisory Council.
Holding certifications from; Schwinn, Heart Zones, Team ICG and Life Time Fitness, John's held regularly scheduled cycling classes between 1998 and 2015 when he moved to Florida.
When the weather permits, you'll find him riding and leading outdoor groups by himself or with his Tandem partner (wife) Amy.