Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Ageing, poor health and frailty are not necessarily connected. Having a bike helps.

Scientists at King's College London conducted a study of older cyclists.

They found that there was little physical difference between people aged 79 and those aged 55 if they maintained similar levels of exercise.

Now here is the 'catch' - the research team picked super-fit amateur cyclists between 55 and 79 and tested a wide range of physical functions commonly associated with ageing such as aerobic fitness, resting heart rate, skeletal mass, breathing ability and muscle density.

The conclusion was that it is not ageing itself which brings about poor function and frailty, but the fact that people have stopped exercising and are no longer active.

To get into the trial you had to be able to cycle 100 km in under 6.5 hours. Well I guess that rules out about 99.995% of the UK's population.

Smokers, heavy drinkers and those with high blood pressure or other health conditions were excluded. That gives an even more refined group of people.

If you want to spend some money you can buy the paper from the The Journal of Physiology.

Now I find this very interesting and heartening. But it is a bit like the experiment that shows that if you reduce your calorie intake to that consumed by a Hamster you increase your chances of living until 100. 

At the extremes of diet and exercise the rules that apply to vast majority change. As an inquisitive marketer I find this interesting but of little practical value. I want to know what happens to the 95% of my customers. Dick Stroud

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