After last Sunday’s tough hilly ride with the Hope group this is an easy week. Time to do some stretching and core strength exercises. My current weight is 177 pounds – this means my total weight loss since Christmas is 20 pounds. Another 8 to go! 

Last Saturday I gave a talk to friends from the Shepshed Twinning Association at their “Café Continental” fest, showing them with the help of a slide show the route map of my Geneva to Milan Cycling Challenge. They also donated the proceeds of the evening to my sponsorship. Merci boucoup! (If any groups want me to give a talk about my forthcoming challenge please get in touch via email : gsingh1015@virginmedia.com

During my easy week I have been catching up on some reading. Currently I am reading a very interesting article in the Scientific American about the benefits of regular exercise – “Why Exercise Works Magic”.

The benefits of exercise have been known for centuries but it is only now becoming apparent how in our modern day sedentary lifestyle even a moderate amount of exercise is hugely beneficial in very obscure parts of the human body:

  • Nervous system – exercise improves cognitive function. Aerobic training helps with organisation, planning and attention – properties particularly helpful as one gets older.
  • Immune system – regular physical activity protects the body from inflammation.
  • Endocrine system – exercise improves the body’s response to insulin and boosts another hormone adiponectin. These changes decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
  • Fat distribution – even without major weight loss, aerobic exercise reduces belly fat and makes fat under the skin more metabolically healthy, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Blood Pressure – even moderate exercise like walking briskly for 30 minutes three times a week reduces blood pressure by 10% and directly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Musculoskeletal system –  weight bearing exercise and balancing routines help to prevent osteoporosis, fractures and falls. Aerobic exercise helps to prevent everyday fatigue by increasing muscle efficiency.
  • Genetics – scientists are identifying the specific genes that get switched on or off by changes in physical activity, the beneficial effects are seen across a wide range of cells.
  • Cancer – physical activity reduces the risk of breast, bowel and other cancers.

The last bit is the one which the Hope Foundation for Cancer Research are actively promoting. Apart from the cycle ride covering 360 miles over four days from Geneva to Milan involving 60 cyclists and 12 support cyclists, we also hope to spread the message of Cancer prevention and research.

My fund raising is proceeding well – please visit my sponsorship page to donate – http://uk/virginmoneygiving.com/team/Hopesitalianjob 

Meanwhile interest in starting a social mixed ability cycling club is attracting a lot of interest. For information on a start date in June log into this blog or social media. The more of us that can take up cycling or indeed any type of moderate exercise, the healthier we all will be!