Cycling Health

The boring ‘miracle cure’

No need for pills, no mad sessions at the gym, no personal trainers required, no fad diets, just go and do some regular exercise says the Guardian.

The report, entitled “The miracle cure and the role of the doctor in promoting it”, points to evidence that exercise prevents a whole range of diseases. “Regular exercise can prevent dementia, type-2 diabetes, some cancers, depression, heart disease and other serious common conditions – reducing the risk of each by at least 30%. This is better than many drugs,” it says.

Regular exercise can cut an individual’s risk of breast cancer by 25% and the risk of bowel cancer by 45%. It can reduce the chances of ever getting dementia or having a stroke by 30%, says the report. It also cuts the risk of high blood pressure or type-2 diabetes by 50%.

Half the population does not take enough exercise and in the over-65s that drops to less than a third. Nearly half of all adults are sedentary for more than five hours a day, driving or sitting in front of a computer or TV screen. In 1949, 34% of miles travelled were by bike. Now that is just 1-2%.

“We’ve got to change what we think of as normal, because what we are seeing in our hospitals and surgeries up and down the country is that normal has become not enough exercise,” writes Scarlett McNally. “Too many of my patients are paying the price for that with broken bones and years of ill health that could have been avoided by being more active.”

No fads here, just avoid dementia and a all that by cycling to work five days a week. But, sure, we knew cycling was good for you already.