(WXYZ) – A new study finds if you bike or walk to work, you might live longer.
This study comes from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom where researchers assessed data of over 264,000 people with an average age of 53.
Over the 5-year study period, researchers compared active commuters to those who were mostly stationary, like driving a car or riding a bus to work.
They found walking to work was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. But those who cycled to work, cut their risk of death from any cause by 41%, cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%.
Those who cycled to work averaged 30 miles per week. Walkers who averaged six miles a week cut their odds of developing heart disease the most. Cycling is very easy to do and often takes little willpower when you compare it to hitting a gym. If you’d like to add it to your day, here are my prescriptions:
1. Choose a bike that fits you right. Leaning too far forward puts pressure on your wrists which can lead to wrist pain. You could also develop back pain.
2. Make sure the seat height allows for a slight bend at your knee when the pedal is closest to the ground. A straight leg could mean the bike is too high and you could fall when you stop or dismount.
3. Wear a helmet to protect your head. It reduces your risk of head and brain injuries if you fall or are involved in a crash.
4. If you have heart disease, arthritis, or thinning bones, get your doctor’s approval before you ride a bike.
Indoor cycling can give you a good cardiovascular workout. It’s low-impact which works well for those who have back, knee or joint problems. If you’re new to exercise, start with a small goal like 5 minutes and gradually increase aiming for 30 minutes a day. Joining an indoor cycling class that pushes you to work harder can help you lose weight, improve heart health and build up muscle endurance.
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