Cycling keeps your immune system young, study finds

Jacqueline Cutting's picture

A recent article in The Guardian highlighted a number of studies linked to the health benefits of cycling. The full article is here and the summaries below mention the individual studies.

The piece mentions a report focusing on the beneficial impact of cycling on people's immune system. Scientists carried out tests on 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 and compared them with healthy adults from a wide age group who did not exercise regularly.

The findings, outlined in two papers in the journal Aging Cell, showed that the cyclists preserved muscle mass and strength with age while maintaining stable levels of body fat and cholesterol. More surprisingly, the anti-ageing effects of cycling appeared to extend to the immune system.    

The article also cites a recent report from cycling and walking charity Sustrans which found that cycling does not just benefit an individual’s health but that of society as a whole, estimating that if Britain were to reach government targets for walking and cycling, the country would save about £9.3bn and reduce deaths from air pollution by more than 13,000 over the next decade.

Many other studies have also shown the remarkable health benefits of cycling. A study published in the BMJ last April found that regular cycling cut the risk of death from all causes by more than 40%, and cut the risk of cancer and heart disease by 45%.

Experts also believe cycling boosts riders’ mental health, with multiple studies finding that those who commute by bicycle are happier and less prone to depression than those who use any other form of transport.

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