An Australian octogenarian named Noel rides his bike about thirty miles a day (50 km). That might not be so impressive for a young person, but he is 81.
So Noel’s daily habit might seem kind of extreme, but it actually may be all the sitting we modern humans do that is out of wack. Spending a lot of time sitting is apparently as bad for our health as smoking. Noel rides alone for some of the distance and with a group of women at other times. The social component is important, because it can help us to adopt new habits, and is good for happiness.
“Here’s a tip: If you want to unlearn old habits and develop new healthy living habits, spend time with people who practice the habits you want. Your choice of friends and acquaintances is a powerful influence on your behavior. If you want to be a habitual exerciser, keep company with people who exercise regularly and enjoy it,” explained Dr. Weil.
Aerobic exercise has been shown by research to increase new brain cells as well. So biking is not just a physical experience, it also impacts our brain function.
“Early studies in humans clearly established a link between exercise and older adults between the ages of 55 and 80. Brain scans showed that participants who engaged in regular aerobic exercise (3 hours per week for 6 months) increased brain volume in the frontal and temporal areas which are involved in executive control and memory processes.” (Womens Cycling)
Of course, it helps very much to wear a helmet while biking. Otherwise, the risk for brain injury during accidents is greatly increased.In the source’s photo, Noel is thankfully wearing his helmet.
Some people can’t ride bikes, because they lack the ability to balance them. However, there are three-wheeled trikes they can use. An LA area man over 100 years old was riding one a couple of years ago and was mentioned in the LA Times.
Of course, anyone who spends time outdoors must take care to prevent skin cancer by wearing hats or sunscreen. Sunglasses are good too, if they have polarized lenses to block UVB and UVA rays.
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