Six ways to reduce your risk of lung cancer

Cycling can reduce your risk of cancer, including lung cancer, as well as cut heart disease, a new study has found.

The team of scientists from Glasgow undertook a five-year study of 250,000 commuters, comparing people with an active commute, such as cycling or walking, to those who were mostly stationary. They discovered cyclists cut the risk of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%.

On average, the cyclists travelled 30 miles a week. However, scientists concluded the further they cycled the greater the health benefit so with this in mind here are six cycling challenges that could help you reduce your risk of lung cancer:

Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle

When: Saturday 29th July
How far: 8 miles

A wonderful event for the whole family, Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle is an 8-mile route on traffic-free roads in central London. Families can take in some of London’s most iconic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Strand. There is also a wide range of bike-based entertainment and activities will take place at the seven festival sites too so families can make a day of it.

This event is free to register. Contact sport@roycastle.org for more information.

Prudential RideLondon – Surrey 100

When: Sunday 30th July
How far: 100 miles

Starting in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, cyclists will meander down closed roads, through the capital and into the stunning Surrey countryside. Here, riders will cycle down the same route made famous by the world’s best cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics before whizzing down The Mall in central London, a fitting finish for this legendary event.

All ballot places have now been allocated but fortunately we still have some charity places available. Click here for more information and to register

Vietnam to Cambodia Cycle

When: Saturday 11th – Tuesday 21st November | Saturday 18th – Tuesday 28th November
How far: 250 miles (over 10 days)

Cycle the 250 miles from the frenzy of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to the tranquillity of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. This route will take you through many traditional Vietnamese villages, following gorgeous streams and rivers, passing paddy fields and adjacent to stunning mountains. It is a truly beautiful way to see this enchanting part of the world.

Register now and receive £50 off your registration fee. Click here for more information

London to Paris Cycle

When: 7th-11th June | 19th-23rd July | 16th-20th August | 13th-17th September 2017
How far: 299-miles (over 4 days)

Starting in London, cyclists will begin their 299-mile route through glorious English countryside before catching the ferry from Dover to Calais. After arriving in France, the challenge takes you along quiet French country lanes, through traditional market towns with views of the rolling green hills of northern France. The pièce de résistance is the spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower, which marks the finish line. Cyclists taking part in July will get to ride along the infamous Tour de France route.

Lung cancer survivor, Joe Crofts, completed the challenge last year:

"The whole experience was fantastic. It was so much more enjoyable than I expected it to be. It was a tough cycle, but the route was the perfect mix of scenic countryside and picturesque villages.

"One of the most poignant sections took us through the Somme. Open farmland as far as the eye could see, broken by little clumps of woodland, old villages and the cemeteries for soldiers from both sides. A truly sobering landscape, and such a way to experience it.

"I’m not sure I’ll ever top the feeling of the last leg as we cycled up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in a group of more than 50 cyclists whilst pedestrians cheered us on. Simply amazing."

Read Joe's story

Click here for more information and to register

Grand Canyon to Las Vegas Cycle

When: 7th October – 15th October
How far: 335 miles (over 8 days)

Cycle through high deserts, forested plateaus, canyon rims, historic towns and unforgettable landmarks. This incredible challenge allows you to immerse yourself in the Wild West frontier and dive deep into its past culture starting at the ancestral lands of the Native American Navajo Nation in the iconic Grand Canyon, down the legendary Route 66 and finishing in the spectacular city of Las Vegas.

Register now and receive £50 off your registration fee. Click here for more information

Lands End to John O’Groats Cycle

When: 29th August - 10th September 2017
How far: 1000 miles (over 13 days)

This epic challenge is on many cyclists’ to-do lists. Covering more than 12 counties, cyclists will travel the furthest possible distance in the British Isles. From the rocky cliffs and pounding seas of Land’s End, across the rolling hills of Dartmoor, through the stunning mountains of the Lake District and along the Lochs of Great Glen to our finish line at the Northernmost point of the UK mainland.

Click here for more information and to register

Or create your own cycling challenge

If none of these grab your fancy, you can always create your own challenge, one that is personal to you. That’s exactly what Orla Purcell is doing this July. Orla sadly lost her fiancé, Richy, to lung cancer. To mark the 6-year anniversary of his death, she is cycling the 400-miles from his hometown in Ballachulish in the Scottish Highlands to her hometown in Ballygunner, Southern Ireland in just four-days.

“Like Richy, I have always been quite sporty and I like having a challenge to face and something to work towards. I also wanted to do something that was personal to us and so came up with the 400-mile route from Richy’s hometown to mine. I know Richy would have loved to have done something like this.”
Read Orla and Richy’s story

If you fancy taking on your own challenge, we’re here to help in any way we can. Drop us a line at sport@roycastle.org

There are also many free cycling events going on across the UK. Visit www.letsride.co.uk to find things going on in your area.

This latest study has shown how cycling can vastly improve your health and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. Cycling for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation takes that one step further; not only are you improving your own health but the money you raise could help save the life of someone with lung cancer.

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