Seniors Cycling 3,000 Miles… For the “Health” of it

Are you a sexagenarian?

Don’t worry. That’s not a personal question about your love life. I’m merely asking if you are between 60 and 69 years of age.

You see, many people in their late 50’s and 60’s often think about hanging up exercise gear. Or they give up altogether on exercise and fitness. But I want to make sure you are not one of them.

No matter your age, it’s never too late to get started. Getting moving can help boost your energy, maintain your independence, protect your heart, and manage symptoms of illness or pain as well as your weight.

Build Those Muscles & Take Care of Your Heart

Too many of us in our 60s and beyond believe we’ve paid our dues and that now’s the time to relax. But the fact of the matter is as we age, it’s very common to lose muscle mass. Which can create all sorts of complications. From our balance to our overall heart health.

That’s why, we need to do a variety of exercises that will build muscle, improve our blood flow and give us more stamina.

This includes weight resistance training. Cycling and tennis are also enjoyable and beneficial. Or even swimming for those who have difficulty in mobility or with their knees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. That can work out to 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Seniors Cycling Cross-Country

A group of 12 seniors are doing this very thing. In a big way. To prove their ages are just numbers, they are cycling from St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California.

And they’re making this 3,000-plus-mile trip over a three-month period. Among the group are 77-year-old Carol Garsee and 70-year-old Dot McDonald.

Garsee said, “The whole idea here is to show people that even older people that can stay fit can accomplish a lot of great things.”

McDonald added, “I have some arthritis, so I figure the more I move, the better off I am. I just want to keep doing this as long as I can.”

Oldsters Are Setting Records

Garsee and McDonald aren’t the only seniors pushing exercise limits and breaking barriers. Other seniors are also setting records for the older generation and inspiring people of all ages everywhere. Here are just a few examples:

  • Johanna Quaas is a 91-year-old gymnast who took up the sport at age 9. Recently she wowed the audience and judges at the International German Gymnastics Festival.
  • Ed Whitlock is an 85-year-old runner. He because the first person over age 70 to complete a marathon in less than three hours. In 2016, he became the oldest to finish a marathon in less than four hours.
  • Charles Eugster is a 97-year-old rower. He competed in rowing while in college, then took up the sport again in his 60’s. By the time he was 93, he had earned 40 gold medals at World Rowing Masters events.

Ease Into It

Now, if you are in your 60’s or older – or even if you’re younger but have not been exercising regularly for a while – I’m not suggesting you get out there and run a marathon tomorrow. Or start lifting heavy weights in the gym. Or start having a couple hours a day in high-intensity cardiovascular exercise…

But if you were to decide you want to build up to more physical exercise than you’ve ever done before, you wouldn’t be the first in your age group to do so.

According to WorldHealth.net, there is a growing group of sexagenarians who are averaging something like eight visits to the gym per month. And not just for yoga classes.

Of course, talk to your doctor about which exercises are appropriate for your age and health. Then start slowly and gradually increase the intensity.

And if you can find someone to exercise with, all the better. It won’t seem as hard if you’re sharing the experience. And you can serve as each other’s accountability partner.

The key is to find something you enjoy doing, and start at a level that is easy to maintain. As a famous shoemaker says, all you have to do is “just do it.”

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