Ok so I'm turning 59 in two months time and recently returned to riding a bike and I'm hoping the forum members can give advice on doing this the smart way.
I need to do some regular exercise but because of an old ankle injury, jogging is not an option as my ankle seizes up after a while. Where we now live in Colorado Springs we have a lot of running and biking paths in our neighborhood so a month ago my wife and I invested in a couple of bikes together. They're not $900 bikes from REI but also not $100 Junkers from Wal- mart either. We got middle of the road hybrids from our local Dicks which is not the local bike store I know, but it suited our budget and quite honestly it seems to be a pretty good bike that runs quite nicely. I've been riding pretty regularly and I'm really enjoying it on the trails which are a mix of concrete paths and a long gravel trail, now I'm up to about 5 mile rides without any problem in terms of pain or total exhaustion . As I said, I'm loving riding again - something I haven't done since I was (literally) a kid.
But how do I get to the next level, and how can I increase my stamina? Is it just a matter of keep riding regularly and it will progress? There are some moderate inclines on the paths but I still get out of breath very quickly going uphill which concerns me a little. I will honestly admit I really haven't done any serious exercise for, well, quite a few years so it's not too surprising I don't have much stamina at the moment, but is there anything I can do to help improve it?
My next question is in health matters. One of the main reasons I wanted to start riding again is that I am diabetic and I know that exercise in any form will help me control my blood sugars. I carry glucose shots with me in case I go hypo- glycemic (low blood sugars) while I'm riding, but is there anything I can drink as an energy supplement or replacement drink either after or during a ride that doesn't have a super-high sugar content which would defeat the object of lowering my numbers?
I'm pretty sure I have many more questions but this might be a long enough post for my first new thread.
Thanks for any help and advice you more knowledgable people can extend to me.