May is National Bike Month and now that the weather is getting warmer it’s a fantastic time for seniors to get their bikes out and ride bikes for exercise. There are significant health benefits seniors can get from biking, including losing weight and lowering their blood pressure and stress levels. But seniors, who can have a slower reaction time as they get older, also need to be careful when they are riding bikes. A fall from a bike could result in serious injuries like broken bones that could take a long time to heal. These home care tips can help them better prepare.
Don’t Forget Regular Maintenance
Just like any other piece of exercise equipment bikes need regular maintenance. The tires need to be checked and inflated, the bike’s frame needs to be checked for stability, and other maintenance tasks should be done to make sure the bike is safe. Seniors that haven’t ridden in awhile should take their bike in for a tune up before starting to ride in the spring. Seniors with home care can get help from their home care provider to get their bike into a bike shop for a thorough check before going out for the first ride of the year.
Always Wear Safety Gear
Safety gear is essential for seniors when they are riding bikes. Seniors need to always wear a high quality safety approved helmet. And seniors should also wear long pants to protect their legs in case they fall. Cycling pants and shorts are also a good option. Clothing should be lightweight enough to breathe and allow air circulation but heavy duty enough to protect seniors if they fall. It should also fit well so that it won’t get caught on the pedals or in the wheels.
Don’t Forget The Sunscreen
Seniors need to wear sun protection when they are going for a bike ride. Sunscreen on the face, hands, and any exposed skin including the legs is a must. Even if the day is cloudy the UV rays can be dangerous for seniors. Seniors tend to have thinner skin than younger riders because as people age they lose the insulating fat pad under the skin. That means seniors can get sun damage even on cloudy days. Don’t forget sun glasses, too.
Light It Up For Safety
Seniors also need to make sure that their bikes are visible at dusk or at night. A safety vest is a smart thing for all seniors to wear as part of their safety gear but it’s not enough. Seniors also need to make sure their actual bike is visible in low light. Seniors or a home care provider can make your senior parent’s bike more visible by using light reflective tape on the frame of the bike or using glow in the dark paint to pain the frame of the bike. There are also reflectors that go on every part of the bike that can make the bike much more visible in bad light.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Des Plaines, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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