125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 took part in the study, and they were compared with healthy adults from a wide age group who did not exercise regularly. The results were more than surprising. An organ called the thymus, which produces immune cells, usually starts to shrink at the age of around 20 and subsequently generates less and less of those cells. However, the thymuses of older cyclists were found to be generating as many immune cells as those of young people.
“Hippocrates in 400BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society,” said Prof Janet Lord, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham.
“However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that ageing automatically makes us more frail. Our research means we now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier.”
The non-exercising group consisted of 75 healthy people aged 57 to 80 and 55 adults aged 20 to 36. The female cyclists had to be able to cover 60km in 5.5 hours in order to become part of the study, while their male counterparts had to cover 100km in under 6.5 hours.
This is just one of many studies which have been published recently and which have confirmed that riding is undeniably good for your health. Cyclists even tend to be better drivers! You can read all about that in the link below.