A study authored by researchers from the King’s College London and the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing recently studied the immune systems of long-distance cyclists, some as old as 70 or 80.
Here’s what Prof. Janet Lord, one of the study’s authors, told the BBC: “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.”
That decline is the usual trend, but the study found that the older cyclists had the immune system performance of people far younger. These 70 and 80-year-old cyclists had immune system’s on par with 20-year-olds.
Prof. Lord continued: “Because the cyclists have the immune system of a 20-year-old rather than a 70- or 80-year-old, it means they have added protection against all these issues.”
Isn’t that exciting?
This is another piece of research that strongly suggests that what we traditionally think as the consequences of aging are not necessarily inevitable. If we embrace Habits of Health, we can potentially enhance our longevity and prevent disease. The rewards are not only a more vibrant and active lifestyle as we age but we also get more time to create beautiful memories with our loved ones.
This particular study looked at 125 cyclists, which is larger than some sample sizes but not as large as more comprehensive and concretely conclusive studies. I point that out now before you run out to take up long-distance cycling (though you should if it interests you!) because there are likely multiple factors at play in this group, and all of those factors are actually good news for you.
Ingredients 6 oz raw salmon (yields 5 oz when cooked) 1 cup fresh asparagus ¼ cup red bell peppers, diced ¼ cup raw tomatoes, diced 1/8 tsp salt ½ cup water 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar 10 sprays non-stick cooking spray ¼ tsp pepper
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 2. Dice tomatoes and peppers; place on a cookie sheet and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. 3. Lightly season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. Place salmon in a baking pan and add water. 4. Bake salmon and vegetables for about 20-25 minutes. 5. Boil water for asparagus. As it heats, clean and trim asparagus ends. Leave as whole stalks or cut in half. Place in boiling water and cook about ten minutes or until tender-crisp. 6. After removing peppers and tomatoes from oven, let cool two to three minutes. Place in a blender, add vinegar and blend until the consistency of applesauce. 7. Arrange asparagus on a plate with salmon on top. Drizzle puree over salmon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Per serving: 400 calories | 16g fat | 12g carbohydrates | 46g protein