Cycling Recovery Tips for Older Riders: In the world of sport, it is said that recovery is just as vital to an athlete as the time spent training. Certainly, a lot of professional cyclists can attest to this. So as much as you want to put in the work exercising and cycling, you must create time for recovery.
As a senior/older cyclist, no doubt cycling will help improve your overall health but that’s if it’s done the right way. And the right way to go about cycling is adequate recovery after long cycling hours.
Recovery is quite crucial as it helps to repair muscle tear and damage that results from cycling. Proper recovery will help to ensure your cycling exercise runs smoothly guaranteeing healthy living.
Today, there is plenty of research on the internet that explains the best recovery method to reduce soreness and fatigue. However, many of these researches can often be contradictory leaving you all confused. But, in this guide, we’ll provide simple cycling recovery tips for senior/older cyclists to help you on your cycling journey.
Top 10 Cycling Recovery Tips for Older Cyclists
- Take some time to relax
- Raise your legs
- Hydrate with cycling recovery drinks
- Fuel up on proteins and carbs
- Attempt a bit of self-massage
- Add some mobility work
- Use compression clothing
- Embark on active recovery
- Get some quality sleep
- Allow your mind rest too
Take some time to relax
Most cyclists, young and old, often jump straight off the turbo after a difficult set. But that’s not ideal. Taking your time to relax and ending each electric bike ride with a minimum of 10 minutes of easy cycling is best. This is because easy cycling helps your body to return to its pre-exercise state
Spinning your legs after cycling also helps to get the blood flowing around your entire body. It further helps to eliminate metabolic waste from the muscles, promoting the recovery process.
Raise your legs
After a long cycling journey on your commuter bike, lying down and raising your legs against a wall is a good way to recover. Elevating your legs helps to drain fluids that might have built up, thereby reducing swelling. Stretching your hamstrings will also go a long way with recovery.
Raising your leg will also help to get the blood flowing to your brain especially when you’re feeling dizzy. British Cycling suggests raising your legs for at least five minutes for every cycling hour.
Hydrate with cycling recovery drinks
Plenty of senior/older cyclists drink little and often while cycling on the electric bicycles. This makes dehydration highly possible especially after a long cycling session in hot weather.
Dehydration makes it difficult for the heart to pump oxygen and blood adequately around your body. And this slows the entire recovery process.
Drinking clean and distilled water after a short ride should be enough to prevent dehydration. However, you will need to replace water with cycling recovery drinks after cycling for long hours. Cycling recovery drinks will replace the electrolytes you must have lost during cycling.
Fuel up on proteins and carbs
Nutrition is one element you cannot overlook on your way to having a full recovery. After a long cycling session, it’s vital to take on carbs to substitute energy lost during cycling. Eating enough carbs will help replenish your glycogen storage while protein helps to repair worn-out muscles.
Depending on your choice you can opt for sport nutrition products, natural food, or protein powder for your diet. Whatever the case, the best time to start refueling your energy level is within 30 minutes of cycling. If you can’t eat a full meal, you can always grab a quick option.
Attempt a bit of self-massage
While it’s best to schedule a sports massage for every cycling week, not all can effort the time and money.
However, there are self-massage tools like massage balls and sticks, foam rollers, and more that provide the same benefits. These self-massage tools help to increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and remove waste products. All of these, towards promoting good recovery.
Add some mobility exercise
Mobility work helps to keep muscles supple and in great condition reducing the likelihood of injury. It also enables your muscles to work at their peak range of motion during exercise. In addition, mobility work also helps to lessen symptoms of soreness and muscle stiffness after cycling.
Use compression clothing
Compression clothing is designed to increase blood flow and reduce post-exercise softness and swelling. However, there are only a few pieces of evidence that prove its efficacy.
Manufacturers advise wearing compression clothing for about two to four hours after cycling or any other exercise.
Embark on active recovery
Recovery and rest by actual definition simply putting your feet up and doing the littlest activity. But, in specific situations like the days before your cycling day, you will find active recovery helpful.
Active recovery involves carrying out some types of exercise like a very simple spin on the bicycle to get more blood flow.
Get some quality sleep
The human body is known to produce growth hormones during deep sleep. The growth hormone helps to stimulate muscle growth and repair worn-out tissues.
It’s very important to get enough sleep, especially for older cyclists. Lack of sleep causes mood swings, an increase in the production of stress at home, and an increase in exertion. Without adequate sleep, cycling feels like work. In summary, for beat recovery and a good cycling experience, getting adequate sleep is a must. Sleeping for 8 to 10 hours every night should do the trick.
Allow your mind to rest
As much as you need to give your body time to recover and rest, your mind also needs an equal amount of rest. You need to relax and put your mind to rest especially if you combine cycling with work and family. Mental recovery is as important as physical recovery.
As mentioned above recovery is as important a training and cycling itself. As a older cyclist, ensure you integrate all the tips discussed when and after riding to enjoy the full benefits of cycling.