Through the centuries there has been many ways people have tried to make themselves look younger, with some being as bizarre as bathing in manure. Well, a recent study has come to a conclusion that gives you a far more enjoyable than bathing in fresh manure, cycling. It really is as simple as that!
The study, which was conducted on amateur cyclists between the ages of 55 to 79, found that many were not only physically younger but also biologically much younger than most people of the same age.
“Inevitably, our bodies will experience some decline with age, but staying physically active can buy you extra years of function … Cycling not only keeps you mentally alert, but requires the vigorous use of many of the body’s key systems,”Professor Norman Lazarus
The extensive study of the 81 males and the 41 females examined the participant’s vital organs, specifically the heart and lungs, as well as their neuromuscular, hormonal and metabolic functions. They also tested their reflexes, oxygen uptake as well as muscle and bone strength. The study found that even the older participants showed the health and fitness of young adults!
Another key factor that was also noticed was the fact that they really were amateurs. Some had only been cycling several years and they still showed the benefits that the cycling had.
One of the basic tests looked at the risk of falling. They recorded the time taken to stand from a chair, walk three metres, turn, walk back and sit down. Times of more than 15 seconds to complete the task generally indicated a higher risk of falling.
‘The participants were recruited deliberately to exclude effects from a sedentary lifestyle that may cause changes in the body capable of being confused with those due to ageing. Men and women had, respectively to be able to cycle 100 kilometres in less than 6.5 hours, and 60 kilometres in 5.5 hours, to be included in the study.’ Smokers, heavy drinkers, high blood pressure and people with other health conditions were excluded.
So what can you take away from this? It’s never too late to start! Get yourself on a bike and enjoy riding, the rest comes with the fun!
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