Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you need to give up your sporting passion, in fact, exercise is the best way to keep your body young and in shape, and your mind sharp.
Cycling is one of those amazing passions you can do as you age. Across the world cyclists of all ages are riding and racing, although you might be feeling an urge to wind down, and the creep of added weight take it’s toll as you get over the age of 40.
One of the skills you lose with age is reactive power. That means you can’t respond as explosively to chasing or dodging a ball, correcting your footing if you trip or standing up in the saddle to catch a breakaway.
We need to practice explosive actions to keep our skills up and remind our body how to stay light on its feet. When choosing exercises to do over the age of 40 it’s really important to select ones that go easy on your joints and have low impact, to protect any existing injuries you might have as well as prevent new ones. So while sprints might be out, hops, shuffles and swinging actions can take their place and be just as beneficial for a cardio workout.
If you are over 40 then you might need some incentive to stay in the game and keep the competition high. These drills are just what the doctor ordered to keep you fighting fit and agile.
Stand with your feet wider than your hips, in a slightly crouched position, back straight, looking at the floor. Move your feet quickly in any direction, shuffling quickly back and forward, across and back, over and under, left and right, constantly moving in small steps that only just come off the ground. Pretend that you are tap dancing. Change direction rapidly and suddenly. Keep the pace high for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds and repeat one time.
Move in any way you like, crouch and jump, jump sideways, shuffle, march etc. for two beats then freeze and hold your position for two beats. Repeat move and freeze for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds and repeat one time.
Skipping with or without a rope is a great cardio blast that keeps you light on your feet.
Keep your feet moving, rather than jumping up and down on the spot continuously, change it up. Hop from foot to foot, jump forward and back and side to side, cross your arms in front of you and back again, jump twice in a single rope swing and shake it up to keep it interesting.
Exaggerated skipping. This looks a bit like high step marching on the spot, with a hop added in. Keep your knees high and the pace fast.
Go for 40 seconds then rest for 20 seconds and repeat one time.
Stand tall with one leg slightly forward and one slightly back and your arms above your head, with a slight bend in the elbow.
Jump up. While you are in the air change your leg position so the forward one lands slightly back and the back one lands slightly forward. At the same time bring your arms down to your sides in a flap like motion, keeping the bend in your elbow.
Continue switching your legs as you jump. Go for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds and repeat one time.
Take a weight and hold it in one hand. Stand tall and lift one leg off the ground slightly. Move the weight across the front of your body, exchange it to the other hand and continue the motion, passing the weight around the back of your body and transfer it to the starting hand again for a smooth rotation.
Slightly swing your raised leg back and forth as the weight rotates. Continue on one leg for 20 seconds, then switch to the other leg and reverse the rotation. Rest for 20 seconds and repeat.
Add any of these exercises to your current stretch and warm up routine or make it a workout on your rest day.