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Cycling May Lower Chances Of Getting Type 2 Diabetes

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Cycling rather than driving may help lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

Research from the University of Southern Denmark showed that people who cycle to work or regularly cycle for recreation were less likely to get type 2 diabetes, even for those who had taken up the sport late in life, HealthDay News reports.

The study involved over 50,000 Danish men and women between the ages of 50 and 65. The researchers evaluated the participants’ cycling activities and found that those who biked regularly were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The more the participants cycled, the lower their risk for the disease became, the study said.

After five years, the participants’ cycling activities were reassessed. Those who started riding a bike regularly had a 20% lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those who did not bike routinely.

The Danish researchers factored in risk elements that could have affected the participants’ risk for the disease, such as diet, alcohol and smoking habits, waistline and other forms of exercise. They acknowledged that other factors could have impacted their study’s results as well.

The findings should throw some weight behind programs that support cycling, the researchers said.

We find it especially interesting that those who started cycling had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, given that the study population were men and women of middle and old age,

Martin Rasmussen, lead researcher, said. He added that their study emphasize that old age is not a hindrance to take up cycling in order to lower one’ risk for diseases.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90-95% of all diabetes cases. It happens when the body does not make insulin properly, causing hyperglycemia. A largely preventable disease, it is often treated by lifestyle changes, particularly lessening the amount of sugar consumed, taking medications and insulin.

The study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine (an open-access medical journal).

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