I have just been sent this which fills me with withering joy.
"Bicycle Riding, Walking, and Weight Gain in Premenopausal Women"
The burning question is,
"Our objective was to assess the association between bicycle riding and weight control in premenopausal women."
Or does cycling help you keep slim?
Guess what. It does.
Bicycling, similar to brisk walking, is associated with less weight gain and an inverse dose-response relationship exists, especially among overweight and obese women. Future research should focus on brisk walking and greater time spent bicycling.
Or as they point out,
There is a significant relationship between increased time spent bicycling in 2005 and odds of weight gain, according to the study. “The results appeared to be stronger in women with excess baseline weight compared with lean women. The mean [average] weight gain was the smallest in women who engaged in four hours a week or more of bicycling compared with women who bicycled for less time.” The authors also found that, “the benefits of brisk walking, bicycling and other activities were significantly stronger among overweight and obese women compared with lean women, whereas slow walking continued to show no benefit even among overweight and obese women.”
“Unlike discretionary gym time, bicycling could replace time spent in a car for necessary travel of some distance to work, shops or school as activities of daily living,” the authors conclude. “Bicycling could then be an unconscious form of exercise because the trip’s destination, and not the exercise, could be the goal.”
My heartfelt thanks go out to Dr Anne C. Lusk and her team at the Harvard School of Public Health, who wrote this ground breaking study and the American National Institutes for Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute who funded it.