Good news! I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance! That’s because I don’t have a car! There is more in the good news department, according an article on Gizmodo, “A Lifetime of Cycling Keeps the Immune System Young, Study Finds.” First published in Aging Cell, the study tested older people who were active and inactive, as well as inactive young people. The immune systems of what the scientists called “non-elite older individuals (master cyclists)” and the younger sedentary ones were similar. Hey I like the sound of that, “master cyclist!”
More Bike = More Life
What does this mean for those of us who ride bicycles? Well, we should keep riding, obviously. The more we do, the better for our immune systems, not to mention our hearts and circulatory systems, muscles, balance, and more. I’m sure there are other studies out there that back the other benefits of riding a bike. If you like to be blinded by the science, you can read the study at this link. But you don’t need a study to know that biking is good for you.
I for one can tell you from my own experience of biking 10,000 miles in two years, while being a middle-aged fathlete, that biking has certainly retarded my aging. While I often complain about health challenges, and those are real and not really much I can do about them, the ones that I can do something about are pretty darn good. Most people think I look 10 years younger than I am (when I shave and get a good night’s sleep).
For the treadmill test I did 15 months ago, I lasted 13 minutes with extra gas lft in my tank. And that was after not doing any running in like, forever, especially not on an incline. The record was 18 minutes, done by a teenager who was a runner. Plus, I biked there 8 miles and another 20 after that. So yeah, biking works, if not for weight loss (in my case due to chronic health issues and not the best diet, though it’s improving), certainly for looking, feeling, and being more youthful.
“Still, the researchers theorize that not only will staying active into your later years protect you from diseases like cancer, it could also make vaccines used on you that much more effective.”
– © 2018 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
The Little Cenetarian French Cyclist Who Could
You may have heard of Robert Marchand, who at age 105, set a world record for bicycling 14 miles in one hour. What you may not have heard about connected with that, which I had not either until I went looking, is that he was also the subject of a study. This comes from “Lessons on Aging Well, From a 105-Year-Old Cyclist,” a 2017 article in the New York Times.
That study, while just of this one remarkable individual, showed that he could and did improve his oxygen output and cycling efficiency, even at his advanced age. That study was in the Journal of Applied Physiology. That gives us hope as “master cyclists” we can all improve, or at least keep some of the effects of aging at bay.
Conclusion: You CAN Do SOMETHING
Of course, I’d suggest most people who can ride a bike should start. The lesson here is get out there and move: ride, dance, walk, run, swim, row, yoga, golf, surf, ski, skate, or whatever. If you’re in Austin and want help on choosing or repairing a bike, where and owntonride without dying, and more, A Dude Abikes is your… dude. Contact info is on the About page. Speaking of rides, here’s my main ride from today:
(Thanks to the donor of my hybrid road bike, the Fuji Silhouette, for sharing the first study with me so I could share it with you.)
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