Lifestyle

People with dementia cycle ‘across the globe’ as they become competitive athletes

This could be great for your nan or grandad to get involved.

An incredible competition is taking place across day care centres to encourage people with dementia to stay motivated and engaged in physical activity.

The inspiring care home residents are strutting their stuff on exercise bikes on a mission for the top prizes of Male World Champion, Female World Champion, and Best Team.

And the cherry on the cake, the participants are able to feel as if they are in Rome even if they are in Devon as different parts of the world are projected onto screens as they cycle.

Not only does exercise improve the patients’ cognition and slow down mental decline, it improves social interaction and reduces their risk of falls by improving strength too.

The power of exercise also helps the health of the heart and blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease; as well as improve the ability to dress, clean, and cook as these may be performed more effectively if someone is fitter.

RELATED: MAN WITH BRAIN DISEASE TALKS ABOUT ‘BRAIN ROULETTE’

Known as the Road Worlds for Seniors, and hosted by Norwegian AgeTech start-up Motitech, the annual global cycling championship has over 100 teams around the world.

Motitech create immersive visual technology and specially-adapted bikes so that users can virtually cycle across the globe from the comfort of their own care home.

While there is a competitive element, with rewards for all participants regardless of where they place, at its core the aim is to focus on the benefits of physical activity.

Speaking about the project, a Care Home spokesperson in Ottawa, Canada, said: “Road Worlds for Seniors brought people together, participants made new friends.

“Individuals who couldn’t normally engage in physical activity were able to pedal the bike. A family member commented on how it helped his father with his mobility problems.”

Meanwhile, Olympic Champion and the winner in Tour de France, Chris Boardman, added: “For some, the goal is to become a world champion or just compete with friends.

“But the Road Worlds for Seniors is about personal triumphs.”

The fabulous game was held for the first time in 2017, proving to be a tremendous success as 1,150 participants from five countries took part.

The following year, the number of participants more than doubled as 2,500 cyclists signed up from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, United Kingdom and Canada.

Now, the competition continues to gather momentum and hopes to become the largest sporting event in the world in terms of number of participants.

For more info, click here: Road Worlds for Seniors.

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