There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding physical activity for seniors. People often assume seniors should be less physically active for their own safety, but in reality it is important to maintain an exercise regimen at any age. Regular physical activity can actually slow down some common age-related changes our bodies undergo.
Various studies show that a loss of bone mass and a breakdown of the joints does occur with age, which can potentially slow our movements and reduce our overall strength. In some cases, individuals do go on to develop age-related issues – like oestereoperothis – but this does not mean physical activity is inadvisable for seniors. Staying physically active is possible at any age, and can lead to a longer, healthier life.
Ebikes help people of all ages and fitness levels become more active. Electric bikes not only help surpass mobility issues some may experience, they allow riders to create a sustainable fitness routine that fits into their daily life.
Stay Active Long Term
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding health is that we often attribute mobility issues solely to a person’s age. Mobility issues are often caused more by inactivity than aging, which is why staying active long term is so important. In fact, studies show age-related problems can be prevented or improved through physical exercise.
Ebike riders are often more physically active than those who ride traditional bicycles. One study looked at two groups of riders between the ages of 50 to 83. They required each group to bike at least three times a week for 30 minutes per outing. One group was given ebikes, and the other group was given regular bikes.
The results showed that the ebike riders biked more frequently. This is a common trend worldwide, with many reports showing people tend to use ebikes more often than traditional bikes – as much as three-times more often, according to one study on European cyclists.
Why do people get more use out of ebikes? Even the strongest cyclists face limitations with regular bikes. Riding too much can cause joint pain from overexertion, and there are some commutes even very fast cyclists cannot make in a reasonable timeframe on a traditional bike.
With an ebike, pedal assist prevents damage to the joints and an ebike’s high speed makes it possible to ride longer. When you are able to use your bike for more errands and with less pain, it is only natural that you will be more inclined to opt for your bike for routine errands.
Improve Your Cognitive Health
The aforementioned study on 50 to 83 year old bike riders looked at cognitive functioning specifically. The researchers expected those riding traditional bikes would reap more benefits, but were surprised to find the ebike riders scored better on follow-up cognitive tests.
Ebike riders saw significant improvements in executive function specifically. This is the ability to plan, organize, and complete tasks. Maintaining strong cognitive function is important as we age, especially for those who have degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s – which get worse with time.
Regular aerobics exercise – the kind you get riding a bike – can sharpen the mind. Exercise helps short and long term memory and promotes the growth of new blood vessels in the brain.
While many people feel riding an electric bike is “cheating” due to their powerful motors and pedal assist options, ebike do provide a workout (this is a topic we have previously discussed). Ebikes get your heart rate up, build muscle, and boost your metabolism – all of which help your overall health.
Your risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and hypertension does tend to rise with age, but not all seniors will develop these issues. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity reduces your risk for the majority of health conditions. The CDC recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
As we discussed above, you are more likely to hit this quota on an ebike than a conventional bicycle. Ebikes can also help you surpass plateaus caused by mobility issues. While not all seniors develop conditions like joint pain and arthritis, normal wear and tear on the body can make them more likely with age.
If you do have mobility issues, an ebike helps you maintain your cycling routine despite this. Biking tends to put a lot of pressure on the joints, but pedal assist can help alleviate these issues.
The Bottom Line
Despite misconceptions, seniors can safely maintain an active lifestyle long term. In fact, staying active throughout your life can keep you from developing the diseases we tend to associate with aging – including mobility issues. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your body.
The best exercise routine is the one you are most likely to maintain. Numerous studies show that ebike riders use their bikes far more frequently than traditional cyclists. Ebikes can also help you avoid common issues associated with biking like joint pain and fatigue.
For seniors looking to stay active, investing in an ebike is an excellent decision.
Ready to get riding? Story Bikes can take you all over the best Los Angeles bike rides. Our step-through bikes, road bikes, and commuter bikes combine classic design with modern technology to give you a smooth, safe ride every time. Plus, for every bike we sell, we send a bike to a student in Zimbabwe.
If you’re interested in investing in an ebike, browse our collection here and please feel free to reach out with any questions.