Pedal Your Way To Better Bone And Joint Health

There have been about a million cases of hip fractures due to osteoporosis between 2008 and 2011 according to the US Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI), with about half of the patients being seniors. To make matters worse, there are at least another 43 million Americans at risk of eventually getting the condition due to low bone mass. The good news, however, is that all this can be fixed by simply eating a healthy calcium-rich diet and exercising regularly. And even if you already have the condition, you can still do low-impact activities like cycling to improve it.

It helps strengthen your bones

You may think that cycling is no more than a form of cardiovascular exercise. Try pedaling uphill or switching to the largest gear on your mountain bike, however, and you’ll immediately realize that it also has resistance training components—which makes it a great workout for increasing bone density. It ultimately makes you more resistant to falling, fractures and serious mobility issues. Of course, for even better results, you should also make lifestyle changes that promote bone and joint health.

It’s a great way to develop balance and coordination

Another benefit of cycling is that it helps improve your balance, making you much less likely to fall. In addition, it also promotes better coordination because even though it makes your legs do most of the work, cycling actually is a full-body workout. You see, whenever you ride a bike, pretty much all the major muscle groups in your body work together to not only help you steer, but also keep you from falling over.

It helps increase your work capacity

Finally, the cardiovascular training component that comes with cycling also indirectly helps promote bone and joint health. By improving your endurance, riding a bike allows you to move more without getting tired. Increased physical activity, of course, inevitably leads to healthier bones and joints in the long run.

Bonus: It’s a lot of fun

One of the most common reasons people don’t workout is that they find structured programs too repetitive and boring. Well, you won’t have to worry about that with cycling because it not only allows you to explore new locations but also provides you with a great opportunity to meet new people. And you don’t even need to purchase your own bike to do it. Just rent one and you’re all set. So, what are you waiting for? Start riding today!

 

 

–Jane Simon

 

Posted by Andrew Ditto