This isn't the only benefit of cycling though. Research also suggests that regular cycling helps to keep your immune system young as you get older.
Scientists compared 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79, against healthy adults from a wide age group who did not do any regular exercise.
The results showed that an organ called the thymus, which produces T-cells, or immune cells, usually starts to shrink at the age 20, meaning less of these cells are produced. However, the thymuses of older cyclists were found to be generating as many T-cells as those of young people.
“Hippocrates in 400BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society,” says Prof Janet Lord, who is the director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing at the University of Birmingham.
“However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that ageing automatically makes us more frail. Our research means we now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier.”
Push Doctor’s Dr Simon Latham says: “If cycling to work could help you to be happier, live longer, and reduce your risk of mental health problems, would you consider it? Isn’t it time more of us jumped on our bikes?