Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Nearly 50% of people over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with arthritis. Exercise can help alleviate arthritis pain and improve joint flexibility, however, arthritis can also make certain forms of exercise more challenging. If you’re a senior living with arthritis, cycling is a low-impact exercise option that can help you stay active and improve symptoms of this condition.
Cardiovascular Exercise is Crucial if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its own tissues, resulting in inflammation. This inflammation is not just limited to the joints, but affects all systems of the body, including the heart. As a result, people who have rheumatoid arthritis are 50% more likely to develop heart disease. Cycling is a great way to increase your heart rate and manage weight, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Cycling Improves Joint Health Without Causing Pain
Regular activity has a number of proven benefits for improving the health of people with arthritis. Running or jogging, however, may not be the best choice for seniors with certain types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis wears down the cartilage and tissue between the joints, which means that running while you have this condition results in bone rubbing against bone. Cycling, on the other hand, does not involve bearing any weight on your joints, and flushes oxygen rich blood through the joints to keep them healthy and lubricated.
It’s Easy to Modify Cycling to Meet Your Needs
Seniors with arthritis can take steps to modify their cycling equipment to best ensure their comfort and safety, and the efficacy of their workout. A recumbent bicycle supports the back and allows you to exercise without placing any pressure on your knees. It may also be easier to get on and off a recumbent bicycle. A gel padded bike seat can also help you maintain proper posture and keep your lower back from aching. It’s important to make sure your bicycle is properly adjusted to your height, to avoid having to bend over the handlebars uncomfortably.
Incorporating cycling into your exercise plan is a great way to alleviate arthritis and maintain healthy joints as you age. Finding safe and effective forms of exercise for seniors ensures better overall health and a better quality of life. If you’re over 65 and living with arthritis, start pedaling your way towards living pain-free.