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Study: Fast cycling extends lifespan
Danish researchers examined the driving habits of cyclists and correlated them with the relative lifespan. Those who cycle faster and more intensively can extend their lifespan by an average of 5.3 years.
Cycling is generally healthy and keeps the body fit. The common advice in scientific medicine is to exercise at least 30 minutes a day to reduce the risk of cardiac events. The motto was, "The main thing is to be active, because every movement is better than none". A recent study has now found that intensive cycling training is more advantageous than slow and comfortable cycling. Researchers of the Danish
Fast cycling reduced mortality
During an 18-year long-term study, the team led by Dr. Peter Schnohr the driving habits of around 5000 heart-healthy Copenhageners who used the bike regularly. The question was whether the intensity of the effort correlated with the mortality of the cyclist. In the course of the study, 1172 subjects died, 146 of them had died of a cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack. The scientists now compared the data and the intensity of the subjects' cycling. They found that it was not the duration, but physical exertion as such that made a significant contribution to extending the life span significantly. “People who feel a lot of stress when cycling regularly live much longer than comfortable cyclists,” the study authors concluded.
Compared to leisurely cycling, the life of men increased by 5.3 years for high-speed driving and 3.9 years for women. The medium pace also showed advantages. Those who put themselves under a little more stress than normal could extend their lifespan by 2.9 (men) or 2.2 years (women) compared to leisurely cycling, as study author Dr. Peter Schnohr at the recent European Cardiology Congress in Paris. The researchers could not name a threshold speed; on the other hand, the subjective feeling of physical stress is important.
Stress duration did not matter
Contrary to the prevailing doctrine, the duration of stress did not matter. If the study participants were cycling 90 minutes a day, there was no advantage in evaluating the data compared to those who cycled only 20 minutes. The scientists had described similar findings for “walking”.
If you suffer from heart diseases, you should first consult your doctor and slowly prepare your body for training. If you drive fast, you should always wear a helmet, according to the authors' final advice. Because even heavy falls can quickly shorten life. (sb)
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Image: Siegfried Fries / pixelio.de