If you're lucky enough to reach old age,
there's a whole new world out there!
Humans are wired for social connection,
but we’ve become more isolated over time Social connection is as essential to our long-term survival as food and water. But today, loneliness is more widespread than other major health issues in the U.S. Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation is a major public health concern
Nobody wants to get old, but it's inevitable. It happens to everybody. If you're lucky. It's part of living. The day we were born the race is on. How we get there, and how we manage our health, physically AND mentally, is key.
Everyday is a challenge to dodge a blizzard of things that can get in our way and derail a normal healthy life. In terms of cardiac function, the toll of time is not as severe as the toll of inactivity. Hippocrates got it right about 2,400 years ago, explaining, "That which is used develops; that which is not wastes away."
The proportion of older persons is increasing at a faster rate than any other age group, and the fastest growing group is that of persons 80 years old or over.
In the more developed regions, older persons already outnumber children under fifteen, and globally they will do so by 2045. As old-age mortality continues to decline and fertility remains low, the proportion of older persons continues to increase.
Social isolation is a growing epidemic, world-wide
“We’re not meant to be lonely as a species,” said Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral sciences at the London School of Economics. “If you were to think of the most significant interventions to improve life expectancy, after quitting smoking, it’s: Don’t be lonely.”
More than half of U.S. adults (58%) are considered lonely. Social isolation kills far more people in the West each year than terrorists and murderers, and it costs the public enormous sums in unnecessary health costs.
Admitting we’re lonely can feel as if we’re admitting we’ve failed in life’s most fundamental domains: belonging, love, attachment. It attacks our basic instincts to save face, and makes it hard to ask for help.
Social connection is a fundamental human need, as essential to survival as food, water, and shelter. Despite current advancements that now allow us to live without engaging with others (e.g., food delivery, automation, remote entertainment), our biological need to connect remains.
A variety of technologies have quickly and dramatically changed how we live, work, communicate, and socialize. These technologies include social media, smartphones, virtual reality, remote work, artificial intelligence, and assistive technologies, to name just a few. These technologies are pervasive in our lives.
The steps to tackle loneliness aren’t grand, high-tech or expensive. In fact, one of the strategies is simply to get people back into old-fashioned patterns like eating meals together, holding parties and volunteering to help one another out.
Americans spend an average of six hours per day on digital media. One-in-three U.S. adults 18 and over report that they are online “almost constantly."
Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation:
The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community the percentage of teens ages 13 to 17 years who say they are online “almost constantly” has doubled since 2015.
Social connection is a significant predictor of longevity and better physical, cognitive, and mental health, while social isolation and loneliness are significant predictors of premature death and poor health
Growing ideological divisions in America are fueling skepticism and even animosity between groups across the political divide: sentiments of enmity and disapproval between Democrats and Republicans more than doubled between 1994 and 2014. It's time to switch off the bullshit and get on your bike!
"Our 70 PLUS, EASY RIDER promotion, like golf, is as much about social interaction as it is about riding a bike."
22 percent of the net growth in U.S. bike trips from 1995-2009 is by people ages 60-79. Their biking quadrupled in those 14 years, the fastest growth of any demographic.
It's been referred to and reported that senior cycling is “the new golf”, many business publications have suggested, what about the increasing number of 70-plussers doing unsupported bicycle tourism? Could independent road cycling for seniors become the new cruise industry, with bike-friendly “ports” along the way?
EASY RIDER, like golf, is as much about social interaction as it is about riding a bike. They both compliment one another and according to PREVENTION MAGAZINE, the social aspect is a big reason many seniors start biking.
Is cycling good for anti aging?
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.
While the benefits of exercise for seniors apply to practically all forms of physical activity, cycling is an activity that’s particularly well-suited for the senior population due to its accessibility. Cycling is easy on the joints, even for those with joint pain or injuries.
I am 77 years old and have cycled for more than 55 years. Over that period my cycling has been for many reasons; my main transport for 7 years, and for fun and fitness always. It has included road and track racing, long distance rides, multi-day tours, and just knocking about the town and countryside. Six months ago it almost came to an end when I discovered I had a failing mitral heart valve. However, 12 weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have had the valve repaired by an amazingly kind and skilled cardiothoracic surgeon. Today was my first ride since surgery. A beautiful day and I rode 18 miles at the same pace, on the same route as I did 7 months ago. It made me very happy. Hopefully this is the beginning of many, many more years of riding pleasure.
Do you have a story about your biking
experience you would like to share? Photos YES!