Sitting Is the New Cancer — Unless You’re On a Bicycle Seat

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

Cover image

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

Robert_Marchand
Photo by Marcel Segessmann – Privat, CC BY-SA 3.0

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:

033018 Friday Folly

(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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15 thoughts on “Sitting Is the New Cancer — Unless You’re On a Bicycle Seat

  1. What a great post on importance of moving around. Whether it’s a bike or walk or jogging – all are better than sedentary lifestyle of most people living in developed countries. I love biking (feels so accessible at peak times in town) but it’s a shame that in the UK I get completely soaked on most days 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Monsieur Marchand is truly inspiring! When I first started riding it was with a couple of octogenarians who often had to wait for me! Fortunately, those days are well behind me but there are plenty of elderly folks demonstrating the health benefits of cycling on the Cote d’Azur.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great! Maybe you can show him my blog and I can interview him! LOL Do you still ride? Is a guest blog of interest to you? There’s a French legation here, maybe other French things I could ride to and blog about. Yours would not need to be Texas things to be interesting. Though did you visit here once? Think it over.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suspect M Marchand only speaks French. I’ve sadly not had the pleasure of meeting him. I still ride and might be prepared to ride with him, so long as he promised to wait for me. Yes, I’ve been to Austin back in 2009. Happy to do guest blog and vice versa.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Monsieur Marchand is one of my role models. I hope to break his age group hour record.
      Your comment reminds me of a ride when I was in my late 30s. I was riding with two others for a while on the approach to Mt Hamilton near San Jose, CA. Eventually, the two young folks couldn’t keep up with the 70+ year old we were riding with. He was doing a warm-up ride for a century the next day. I turned to the guy next to me and said, “I hope I’m that strong when I’m 70…Who am I kidding? I wish I were that strong now!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to ask, is the unicyle thing an April Fool’s joke? If not, that’s incredibly stupid and brave of you. Yes, get Chamois Butter! FYI, I had some distant connection to Ben Linder, having been to Guatemala in the 80’s, and hearing his parents speak. As for the guest blogging, it’s something people do to spread their message a little further. Basically we’d swap on an off day. One could just re-blog, or one could do a regular entry, or a ride. There’s a German woman who says she’ll do one. I thought I could go to some German buildings or a restaurant and write about that. I wrote a post a week or more ago with my ideas on it, so think it over. Thanks!

        Like

  3. Dude,

    You are SO right! Good health has to start somewhere, but it won’t happen if we don’t start.
    I’ll never be confused with a marathon runner, but I just love to get out and run. Just to get my blood pumping and feel better on the other side. It has become a habit.
    Here’s to our health!

    Peace

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The lesson here is to get out there and move.” That is TRUTH! Biking is good. I sometimes wish I didn’t live in the middle of a busy area so I could get a bike again and ride. Until that time, I will be at the gym on their bike and letting it kick my butt at level 18! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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