30 minutes of cycling per week
Two separate studies share one outcome: cycling is an important strategy for preventing cardiovascular risk factors that could lead to heart disease.
The first study was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. It examined the association between cycling, changes in cycling habits, and risk of coronary heart disease in Danish men and women. The findings listed:
- 45,000 Danish adults aged 50-65 who regularly cycled to work or for leisure had between 11-18 percent fewer heart attacks over the course of a 20-year follow-up.
- Some protection against heart disease was achieved with as little as 30 minutes of cycling per week.
- Participants who changed their behavior, and took up cycling in the first 5 years of follow-up, had a 25 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to who remained non-cyclist in the next 15-year period
- Cycling could have prevented 7 percent of the heart attacks occurred in the 20-year follow-up.
Some protection against heart disease was achieved with as little as 30 minutes of cycling per week.
24 percent of obese cases prevented
The second study from the Journal of the American Heart Association, examined men and women from Sweden for over a 10-year period. It sought a relationship between a change in commuter cycling and various cardiovascular diseases. More than 20,000 individuals in their 40s, 50s and 60s were assessed. The findings presented:
- At the study onset, active cycling commuters were found to be 15% less likely to be obese, 13 percent less likely to have high blood pressure, 15% less likely to have high cholesterol, and 12 percent less likely to have (pre-)diabetes.
- After 10 years, people who started cycling to work or continued their good habit had 39 percent decreased risk of obesity, 11 percent lower risk of high blood pressure, 20 percent reduced risk of high cholesterol and a decline in diabetes risk by 18 percent.
- The switch from passive to active commuting may have prevented 24 percent of obese cases, 6 percent of hypertension diagnoses, 13 percent of high cholesterol diagnoses, and 11 percent of the diabetes cases.
- No minimum amount of time or distance was required to reduce risk of cardiovascular risk factors.
Make it a part of your life!
Sound like it’s never too late to benefit from an active lifestyle, right? So if you are looking to start taking up a physical activity in an easy and informal fashion, look no further. Whether it is for pleasure or as a way to commute; today is a good day to make cycling a part of your everyday life.