On July 12 of this year, actress Rita Wilson took her husband Tom Hanks out for a bike ride to celebrate his 65th birthday. That’s a great idea for many reasons, including one we bet that Hanks, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2013, didn't know about.
It turns out that for people with diabetes, cycling is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of heart woes and death.
Researchers conducted a multi-country study that looked at almost 7,500 adults who had diabetes. Their study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that doing some cycling is associated with at least a 24% lower rate of death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease, when compared with non-cyclists.
And regular cycling (one to five-plus hours per week) over a five-year period is associated with at least a 35% lower risk of all-cause mortality when compared with non-cyclists.
This adds to an earlier Danish study that found a 40% decreased risk of mortality from regularly cycling to work.
However, there is one potential hazard associated with cycling: not wearing a helmet. According to a study in the journal Brain Injury, which analyzed 76,032 cycling mishaps from 2002 to 2012, 78% of adult cyclists who suffered head and neck injuries were not wearing helmets.
So make sure you have a top-quality helmet and then get out there. Or get an all-weather stationary bike, and diabetic or not, pedal your way to a longer, healthier life.