Cycling CME

A unique CME learning experience for Physicians, PA-C's, and other Medical Providers who love to bike

Active CME:  Combining Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Bicycle Touring for the Healthcare Provider

Filtering by Tag: Exercise is Medicine

Bike Share Programs and Exercise Prescription

Bike Share Programs and Exercise Prescription

On recent travels, we have seen evidence of the increasing interest in bike sharing services. Bike share programs have been around since the 1960’s in Europe, but only recently have taken off worldwide with increasing affiliation with communities and government and quick payment access through various apps. Bike sharing services have faced challenges but clearly have health benefits, can lead to cost savings for individuals, they decrease the impact of travel on the environment and allow an increase in exercise while outdoors. As promoted by Cycling CME and many others, exercise should be considered medicinal – exercise as medicine. This is the main focus of the organization, “Exercise Is Medicine” and is promoted worldwide.

A recent initiative in the UK has gone an extra step toward the health benefits by promoting the bike share program to patients at a medical center. Patients at medical centers in Cardiff, Wales will be offered 6-month subscriptions to a bike-rental service that will allow the user unlimited bike rides. This follows a similar initiative in Boson where physicians could “Prescribe-a-Bike” through a bike share program. These two programs are excellent examples of initiatives aimed at increasing the amount of exercise to improve an individual’s health using a practical and fun application. As cycling and exercise promoters, we hope that other communities and health systems will embrace these types of innovative projects.

Cycling CME


The Aging Cell and Benefits of Exercise

As I am very interested in the subject of “successful aging” and cycling, a recent article in the journal “Aging Cell” was very interesting. Duggal et al assessed 125 cyclists, adults 55 years old and older, who had maintained a high level of physical activity. They compared immune profiles to age-matched older adults and a group of younger adults not involved in regular physical activity.

The decline of the immune system, immunesenescence, has been assumed to be an inherent part of aging, characterized by immunodeficiency and systemic inflammation. This decline in our immune system contributes to increased risk of infections, inflammatory diseases and poor vaccine efficacy as we age.  However, the authors of this article point out those studies on this topic have not evaluated the impact of regular exercise.  With this study of cyclists, they show significant maintenance of T cell function in the mature cyclists, which is an essential part of our immune system.  They conclude that many features of immunesenescence, or that decline of our immune system, may be a result of less physical activity as we age.

Just another reminder of the importance of regular physical activity as we age.  Be sure to get your daily dose of exercise as medicine.

References:

Duggal, NA., et al. Major features of immunesenescence, including reduced thymic output, are ameliorated by high levels of physical activity in adulthood. Aging Cell, 2018.