There's a reason all those Copenhagen cycle chic people look so good, and it's not just those nordic genes and tight jeans. It's the exercising they are getting doing all that cycling. Now a new study confirms that not only will cycling keep you looking good, it will keep you young. Published in the Journal of Physiology, researchers from King’s College London and the University of Birmingham found that cyclists over the age of 55 "had levels of physiological function that would place them at a much younger age compared to the general population."
It should be noted that the study looked at serious cyclists, not those doing their local shopping. Men were capable of doing 100 kilometers in under 6.5 hours; That's a pretty small subset of cyclists. The researchers put the cyclists through all all kinds of tests and in fact couldn't determine their age from their measurements, everything varied from person to person and nothing correlated to age. But Professor Norman Lazarus is quoted in Road.CC:
Inevitably, our bodies will experience some decline with age, but staying physically active can buy you extra years of function compared to sedentary people. Cycling not only keeps you mentally alert, but requires the vigorous use of many of the body’s key systems, such as your muscles, heart and lungs which you need for maintaining health and for reducing the risks associated with numerous diseases.
The study concluded again what we all know apocryphally: people age at different rates, but if you keep active it will keep you younger. Professor Stephen Harridge concludes:
Because most of the population is largely sedentary, the tendency is to assume that inactivity is the inevitable condition for humans. However, given that our genetic inheritance stems from a period when high levels of physical activity were the likely norm, being physically active should be considered to play an essential role in maintaining health and wellbeing throughout life.
In other words, get on your bike, walk, run or whatever. Just get out of your chair and get rid of that car. More at road.cc