Research shows that regular cyclists have, on average, the health of someone ten years younger. And who wouldn’t want to be ten years younger?! According to Physiology of Sport and Exercise, older adults reap the same benefiting from exercising as younger adults. Additionally, aging does not impair your ability to increase muscle strength. So why stop riding?
Use these tips to stay healthy, fit and pedaling through the years:
- Create your own training plan
Yes, the experts are experts for a reason. But no one knows your body better than YOU. Don’t follow a “one size fits all approach” when it comes to training. Adapt a training program to suit your body and age.
- Recover longer
As you age beyond 35-40, there are reductions in maximum heart rate, VO2 max and lean body mass that reduce training output and performance. Therefore, recovery will take longer. Allow for longer recovery periods after particularly hard or prolonged training sessions. The extra time may be given to outright rest, active recovery or a combination of both. Experts agree that most people encounter a noticeable difference in training capacity and recovery about every decade.
- Do more cross-training
Cross-training is always important in order to keep your entire body in-shape, but this continues to grow in importance as you age. Spend more time off the bike and exercising in other ways.
- Be food-conscious
Pay careful attention to the content of your meals. Make sure you consume high-quality carbohydrates with some quick-releasing protein soon after every training session to maximize your recovery and minimize muscle damage. And don’t forget your fats! About 30% of your diet should consist of fats, with less than 10% of them being saturated fats.
What tips do you have for staying in the saddle?