When former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon tweeted about his mental health struggles earlier this month after the news of 23-year-old Olympian Kelly Catlin’s suicide began to circulate, he was shocked at the response. People reached out and said he’d inspired them to get help. “I contributed to the conversation,” he says. “The responses told me that it was sorely needed.” That pro athletes aren’t immune to depression and anxiety may surprise some, but the road to success is often riddled with emotional turmoil. In addition to the unrelenting pressure to perform, athletes talk about a culture of invincibility, in which admitting weakness feels risky and maintaining a veneer of composure is paramount.
New research finds that older adults who bike can reverse muscle decline and keep their immune systems strong.
It might not grant eternal youth, but cycling, scientists have found, can slow the aging process and keep your muscles and immune system healthy well into your golden years.
Aging, it turns out, can do a number on your muscles. Humans typically lose muscle mass as they get older. Fat and connective tissue also start invading, affecting the muscles’ ability to contract. Furthermore, muscles can no longer suck up oxygen at the same rates.