(Natural News) Many people know that a sedentary lifestyle can speed up the aging process. But perhaps not many are aware that cycling can slow down the aging process and boost immunity, keeping older adults healthy and strong.
A recent study on amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 found that they have remained healthy, free from the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle. They did not show muscle loss found in adults their age. The men were able to get as much oxygen as they can. The women showed peak performance while cycling and retained muscle mass.
Here are other great reasons why cycling is good for you.
- Makes you happy — Cycling blends exercise with being outdoors and discovering new things. Cycle on your own, and you can analyze your worries or concerns. Ride with friends, and you expand your social circle.
- Aids in weight loss — Cycling burns between 400 to 1,000 calories per hour, thus making it an ideal weight loss ally.
- Builds muscle — Those with a higher muscle mass burn more calories even when they’re not moving too much. It also helps in keeping the tummy flat.
- Reduces the risk of developing heart disease and cancer — The National Health Service recommends cycling as a health way reducing the risk of contracting heart disease and cancer. A University of Glasgow study involving more than 260,000 people in a span of five years showed that cycling to work reduces a person’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer by 50 percent.
- Lets you do low-impact exercise — Cycling is not a weight-bearing form of exercise, so injuries are far less than those involved in long-distance running and other kinds of sports.
- Helps the environment — Cyclists don’t contribute to air pollution the way private vehicles, trucks and buses do.
- Speeds up movement — Cyclists can go from Point A to Point B faster than people who travel by foot.
- Improves sense of direction — Cyclists don’t have a GPS to guide them as they wend from one route to the next. They have to figure out the route on their own. This improves their navigational skills and keeps them mentally sharp.
- Gives you a good night’s sleep — Cycling is good exercise that lets you sleep more soundly.
- Boosts brain power — A 2013 study showed that blood flow in the cyclists’ brain rose by 28 percent. Blood flow also jumped by 70 percent in other areas. Even after the cyclists rested, the researchers’ blood flow remained at 40 percent. The study also revealed that people should ride the bike for 45 to 60 minutes four times a week.
- Widens your social circle — Joining a biking group helps you make new friends who share your interests. This makes you enjoy life more, especially on weekends.
So what are you waiting for? Get that long-forgotten bike at the back of the garage and pedal away. Better yet, bring family and friends along. You not only catch up with people who matter most to you. You also do yourself a big favor. Read Longevity.news for more news on strategies for healthy living.