There were 41 female participants and 84 males, respectively.
Male cyclists participating in the study must have the capacity to cycle 100km in less than 6.5 hours, while women needed to cover 60km out of 5.5 hours.
The goal of the investigation was to assess the impact of regular exercise on adults who included physical activity as part of the lifestyle.
British researchers tested the muscles and immune systems of a group of middle-aged and elderly cyclists and compared them to younger people who do not exercise regularly.
Scientists did tests on 125 novice cyclists aged 55 to 79 and contrasted them and sound grown-ups from a wide age aggregate who did not exercise regularly.
The older cyclists did not lose muscle mass, their cholesterol levels stayed healthy, they did not gain as much body fat as the inactive adults and their immune systems looked 30 or more years younger, the team found.
Exercise CAN Slow Down Aging, Says Science
They followed 125 long-distance cyclists, some now in their 80s, and found they had the immune systems of 20-year-olds.
Prof Janet Lord, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, at the University of Birmingham, and co-author of the research, said: "The immune system declines by about 2-3% a year from our 20s, which is why older people are more susceptible to infections, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and, potentially, cancer".
"Our findings debunk the assumption that aging automatically makes us more frail", Lord said in a statement. "Our exploration implies we now have solid proof that urging individuals to focus on normal exercise for the duration of their lives is a practical answer for the issue that we are living longer yet not more beneficial". Researchers then compared the results to 130 folks were healthy but did not regularly exercise.
According to Dr Niharika Arora Duggal from the team, the "third age of man" need not be something to be "endured" but may be "enjoyed".
"Their bodies have been allowed to age optimally, free from the problems usually caused by inactivity. Remove the activity and their health would likely deteriorate", explained Stephen Harridge, Director of the Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences at King's College London. Norman Lazarus, Emeritus Professor at King's College London added that this exercise was mainly to stay healthy and not to the tune of athletes. Almost everybody can partake in an exercise that is in keeping with their own physiological capabilities.
Hippocrates once said that exercise is man's best medicine and he was not wrong. Dr. Lazarus is 82 and is a cyclist himself. He said, "If exercise was a pill, everyone would be taking it".
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