“Age is just a number.”
I can attest to this seeing that my grandparents can still run their farm like how they did when they were younger. They can do almost any activity they want if they set their minds to it until grandpa got into an accident on his bike from overworking himself. Getting older also means reaching extents that reduce movements and other physical functions. We can, of course, push ourselves to be all the more fit. But we have to know the dos and don’ts for the elderlies, especially in exercising in outdoor elliptical bikes.
Do: Ask for an expert opinion
While some elderly are still active and can even champion in sports events, there are those who have limited capacities due to age. With this in mind, it is important to have a go signal from your doctor before you hop on the outdoor elliptical bike. According to Harvard Medical School publishing, it is safe to ask your physician or therapist if you are experiencing issues like instability, dizziness, known unstable health and heart disease among others. If you don’t experience these health problems, but you are in doubt with your stability, then it’s always better to ask for an expert’s opinion.
Don’t: Overestimate capacity
We always believe that our bodies are fine until we feel any discomfort. Most of the elderly I know often say that they are perfectly healthy and can still do a lot of things. Of course, we support them! However, when planning to use the outdoor elliptical machine, no matter how lightweight, we should not be overconfident. It is especially true to our elders because we cannot always be certain. It is important to ask, can I use this fine? Do I have the balance? Do I need somebody to accompany me? When in doubt, look the first suggestion above.
Do: Plan your route
Before we go all carpe diem, it is useful and safe to plan your route instead of just going with whatever your feet lead you. With advanced age, you may have limitations as to the speed and resistance in staying outside in hot or cold weathers. Knowing where you are, ensure that you know where to ask for help in case of emergencies or when you need assistance. It also helps in avoiding getting lost and arriving home easily when you get tired of the exercise. One way of doing it is to set a destination through GPS or maps with your mobile phones. If you are not comfortable with using phones, then I recommend exercising around your neighborhood.
Don’t: Wander to unknown roads
Where’s the fun when you’re too comfortable, right? We all love the unknown and the excitement it brings. However, when you have physical restrictions, it would be better to be safe than sorry. Am I right? You can go to a “more challenging route,” but be sure that it is familiar to you and that it will not cause any discomfort. If you are set on doing a little adventure, then have the necessary precaution. You should bring your phone, to begin with, wear gears like helmets and knee and elbow pads or have somebody accompany you.
Do: Stay hydrated
It’s essential to stay hydrated during your exercise. Coach Charles Poliquin, a strength coach, said that decrease of body water is a decrease in strength. As our body consists mostly of water, a minimal feeling of thirst already indicates dehydration. Your body is stress induced and is secreting sweat as you ride on the outdoor elliptical bike. Thus, it is important to have fluids with you during your activity. You should always bring water even if you have a short route or when using the equipment indoors. Staying hydrated is also the reason why you should plan your route to know where you can get water.
Don’t: Drink too much or too little
I have emphasized the importance of drinking water when you exercise to keep hydrated. One thing that I have learned, however, is that it should be done properly and at the proper time. Drinking too much water causes hyponatremia that leads to seizures and even death. The amount of water that you should take during your exercise with the outdoor elliptical bike is based on your physical condition, body configuration, and other important health conditions. Again, it boils down to knowing your body through consultation with the experts.
Do: Have warm-ups and cool down
Warm-up and cool down is necessary for any exercises including outdoor elliptical biking. The warm-up helps in reducing muscle soreness or injury as it prepares the body for a more intensified workout. Meanwhile, cooldowns allow you to gradually return the body’s function to its normal condition. These two activities are not limited to just the elderlies as even the professionals, or the athletes do not go to training without performing warm-up and cool down acts. Generally, warming up and cooling down will require you to subject body parts to movements in low intensities. You can do a brisk walk and stretch before starting the outdoor biking.
Don’t: Start immediately and fast
After your warm-up, you can now ride your bike. Begin the cycling slowly, then push faster bit-by-bit. You need to do this so you can gain momentum and balance as you ride the bike. This caution applies to anybody to steady the body and prepare the legs. Also, it will reduce injuries by straining the legs from going too fast. Our bodies are like machines that have to be prepared before it can attain stability.
Do: Exercise based on needs
We all know that as we grow older, our bodies slowly deteriorates limiting our movements. For the elderlies and even the younger ones, you have to consider your needs for physical activities. A few hours or a few minutes will do to keep you active. You can always set a schedule based on your doctor’s advice.
Remember! Even the athletes have limits as to their workout and training.
For those who have injuries, getting back to doing physical movements is a liberating experience. You can’t ignore the physical strain no matter how fun and exciting it can be to prevent further harm to your body.
Don’t: Exercising just because
Whether you consider exercising a past time or a means to keep you healthy, it is still beneficial to have guidelines and goals. You have to consider your capacity, your needs, your limitations, and conditions when riding the elliptical. It is because biking involves a more challenging body use than the stationary elliptical machine.
So, aside from setting a schedule, you also have to create intensity levels, process guide and limits to your exercises. Here is a review of an outdoor elliptical bike to know to plan your safety when using.