Health & Nutrition

FITNESS: Cycling can help boost immunity

July 19th, 2022 7:05 AM

Studies have found cycling can boost immunity and help prevent the common cold. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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WITH the biggest bike race in the world just started in Copenhagen last week and the biggest bike race in Ireland, interest in cycling is even higher than usual. 

We have the weather at the moment so we can have no excuses. I’ve talked about how cycling builds muscle and cardio strength, how it burns extra calories if you’re trying to lose weight, how it gives you a sense of navigation and the huge social aspect, so all that’s left is the health benefits.

A study was done recently at the Appalachian State University where 1,000 adults of different ages were studied. They found that cycling and regular exercise had a huge benefit on the health of the upper respiratory system thus reducing instances of the common cold. There’s also been studies done in the university of Cape Town and results tell us that mild exercise can improve your immune system by increasing the production of essential proteins that can help wake up lazy white blood cells. 

It’s also a fact that you sleep better after cycling. There have been numerous studies that have found that a drop in your physical fitness can result in sleep problems. Looking for causes behind the link scientists suggest it could be a reduction in anxiety brought about by exercise in general that elevates the ability to sleep. 

Also it’s a known fact that cycling and exercise in general protects against weight gain with age which is another cause of sleep dysfunction. 

Get pedalling!

Paudie O’Donovan is a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility. He runs a Sports Injury Clinic in Skibbereen. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him on 086-2339618

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