Think your occasional bike ride isn’t doing much for your health? Researchers have some good news for you. A study published last week in the medical journal Cell Metabolism found that cycling for just 52 minutes per week could help slow the aging process.
The researchers studied two groups of people – aged 18-30 and 65-80 – over a 12-week period while they engaged in cycling intervals. Participants completed three cycling sessions per week consisting of four four-minute intervals at near maximum effort, followed by three minutes at a more leisurely pace.
Maximal mitochondrial respiration capabilities were measured throughout the process. (The mitochondria – the clout of cells – produce energy, which limits frailty and the risk of developing age-related diseases.)
The results were impressive. With less than 50 minutes of cycling weekly, the younger group increased their mitochondrial respiration capabilities by 49% while the older group saw an increase of 69%.
This comes shortly after a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, which showed that people who ride their bikes on the weekend are reaping the same benefits as those who ride throughout the week.
There you have it. Rent a Coast bike and get out into the sunshine for an hour this week. It’s good for you. Science.