Older adults who walk regularly for exercise may increase their ability to walk by adding some cycling into their lives, according to a new study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

“The study finds that people who often cycle for exercise can walk more efficiently than people whose primary exercise is placid walking, even if everyone works out for the same amount of time,” reports Gretchen Reynolds of the NY Times.

old couple walking while holding hands
Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

Why It Matters

Maintaining both the ability and confidence to walk for exercise are critical components of healthy aging. This study suggests that cycling for exercise will maintain an older person’s ability to walk more effectively than just walking for exercise, which could lead to a longer, healthier, and more joyful life. Although more research is necessary to determine how much cycling is required to meaningfully increase walking economy, geriatric physicians should closely follow this area of study and consider discussing cycling options with their patients.