The health benefits of cycling
by Georgia Green
In midlife or beyond? It’s time to dust off your bike and get pedalling. According to a recent study*, regular cycling can help keep your immune system strong and your body fat levels the same as that of a teenager. And you don’t need to be an expert cyclist to reap the benefits. ‘Anything that gets you moving and a little bit out of puff will help,’ says Steve Harridge, co-author and professor of physiology at King’s College London. Need more encouragement? Here are three other reasons to get back in the saddle...
It helps keep you young
The National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Prevention found that regular cyclists enjoy a general fitness level equal to that of a person 10 years younger.
It can make you feel happy
Studies show that time spent on a bike can have a significant positive impact on your mental health. For a quick release of the feelgood hormones known as endorphins, include cycling in your everyday routine – pedal to the shops, for example, or bike round to see a friend.
It can lower stress
Cycling commuters, rejoice! A major study carried out in seven European cities, including London, found that people who cycled to work reported lower stress levels, better health and an enhanced feeling of vitality than those who travelled on foot, by car or on public transport.