Archive | March, 2018

Seniors Rediscovering the Joy of Cycling

30 Mar

Ron Davis, a 69 year old Vietnam War Veteran has one more big item on his bucket list. On March 31st Davis will set out from San Diego California and ride his Trek 920 touring bicycle across the country ending his journey in Ocean City New Jersey. Davis guesses that this 3,000 mile ride will take him roughly 10 – 12 weeks. He points out that after all he is retired and in no particular rush[i]. Davis is not the first senior to rediscover the joy of cycling in their later years. Pushing the pedals provides an aerobic workout, great for the heart, brain, and blood vessels; Aerobic exercise also triggers the release of endorphins – the feel good chemicals. Cycling may be the thing keeping this Vietnam Vet young at heart.

There are a lot of anecdotal remarks circulating the web with headlines such as “grow old gracefully” and “biking turns strangers into friends”. Let’s face it, everyone’s experience is different and not everyone is going to have the ability or interest in biking across the country.  Alongside the anecdotes scientific research is starting to delve deeper into the subject and is coming up with some intriguing findings. US national data shows that the time senior citizens spend in sedentary activity contributes significantly to disability in activities of daily living (ADL) regardless of time spend in moderate or vigorous activity.[ii] Meaning that sedentary activities contribute to disability regardless of how much other exercise was done. The great news here is that biking is relatively easy on the joints and can be used for both recreation and transportation, so the opportunity to spend more time being active is high. Every hour somebody is on a bike is an hour they’re doing themselves good! Cycling builds muscle and the benefits carry over to everyday activities like balance, walking, standing, stair climbing, and endurance.[iii]

[i] http://www.fox4news.com/69yearoldveterancyclingacrossthecountryforwoundedwarriors

[ii] Dunlop, D. D. PHD. Sedentary time in US older adults associated with disability in activities of daily living independent of physical activity national center for biotechnical information

[iii] http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/top-5-benefits-of-cycling

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Boost Your Immune System with Vitamin C(ycling)

16 Mar

We all know we need to eat healthy and exercise regularly if we want to be in good health. It’s also known that the key to exercising regularly is choosing a form of exercise that you really enjoy.  So, if you are a bicycling aficionado there is great news for you. If not, check out why you might want to consider becoming one.

If you want to have the immune system of a twenty year old – a recent study showed that cycling into old age can boost the immune system and keep body fat low. Some of the participants in the study were in their eighties and had the immune system of people in their twenties.

If you want to reduce the risk of heart failure – researchers have also found that aerobic exercise, four to five days a week can reverse or reduce the risk of heart failure. Late-middle age participants who led a sedentary lifestyle who started a regular exercise program, 4 -5 times a week, 30 min/ day, for 2 years have seen the “reversal of decades of sedentary lifestyle.” The exercise routine included at least one session of aerobic activity a week such as running, brisk walking, and cycling and one high-intensity aerobic session.

And finally, another research study published in the British Medical Journal, found that commuting by bike was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality. Also, mixed mode commuting with a cycling component also lowered the risk of all-cause mortality.  The authors specify that active commuting has health benefits because it contributes to the overall daily physical activity, and bike commuting in particular has greater benefits because it is greater intensity than walking for example.

Whether you cycle for fun or transportation, keep on rolling into good health! For those of you who would like to give it a try and don’t know how to start, let us know, we can help.

Stay healthy and enjoy the ride!

Sources:
Bicycling.com, Bbc.com,
Cyclingweekly.com
Npr.org
BMJ.com
Circulation 

5 Tips to Help You Spring Forward Safely

2 Mar

This year daylight saving time begins on March 11 at 2:00 am. While the extra sunlight is welcomed and allows us to get more done and fit more exercise into our days, it also comes with a little inconvenience; we lose an hour of sleep. That might not sound that serious, but experts warn that disrupting sleep patterns comes with a few risks. For example the number of heart attacks increases and the number of traffic accidents is higher the day after the time change.  Don’t worry though; there are some things you can do to avoid getting hurt so that you can simply delight in the fact that more sunlight is on its way!

  1. Try to go bed 15 minutes earlier for  few days leading to the time change – this will give your body a chance to get used to the  change gradually
  2. Be alert on the road – sleep deprivation is common after the time change and it can lead to traffic accidents
  3. Put the phone down – don’t drive, bike, or walk distracted
  4. If you have the option, work from home after the time change – this way you avoid distracted drivers and avoid being a drowsy driver
  5. Exercise with care – if you have chronic heart disease and have been inactive for a while, take it easy, start with a slow 30 minute walk

Daylight saving time is also a great reminder to tune up your bike for spring – check your tires, gears, nuts and bolts, or take it to a shop for a tune up. And a great reminder to check your smoke alarms, CO2 detectors, and get rid of unwanted medicines.

Stay safe and stay tuned!

 

Sources:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/simple-tips-to-help-you-spring-forward-smoothly-daylight-saving-time/
https://www.insurancehotline.com/spring-forward-driver-safety-tips/
https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/3/10/14883576/daylight-saving-time-2017-start-spring-forward
http://www.nsc.org/learn/Pages/safety-events-spring-forward-with-safety.aspx