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Cycling in middle age can reduce diabetes chances by 20%, shows a new study. Those who started cycling regularly in their 50s and 60s had a lower risk than non cyclists and this risk decreased even further the more they cycled each week.
Martin Rasmussun from The University of Southern Denmark, who published the study, said that
“even when entering elderly age, it is not too late to take up cycling to lower one’s risk of chronic disease”.
Published in the online medical journal Plos, the study followed over 24,000 Danish men and 27,000 Danish women aged between 50 and 63 who did not suffer from diabetes or any other chronic disease. The subjects were then reassessed five years on when some 6,779 had ben diagnosed with diabetes. The study discovered that in the group who did no cycling there were 2,510 cases of type 2 diabetes, whereas in the cycling group only 703 were diagnosed. Those who cycled the most (only 5 hours a week!) also weighed less, had smaller waists, drank less and tended to have better diets. This may have also had an effect in the reduction of those diagnosed with adult onset type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to poor nutrition, and in particular excessive consumption of processed carbohydrates and sugars. The healthier cycling group also drank more coffee, most likely the result of mid-cycle social coffee stops!
So to reduce diabetes chances in middle age – get cycling!