A bicycle love – the Republic

A bicycle love - the Republic


The bicycle as Nirvana, which leads to absolute peace and happiness, and cheap too. The American writer says so Jody Rosenin his book ‘The Magic of Two Wheels’. Stories and secrets of cycling around the world (Stamped Boringhieri). He reiterates it, in the new issue of Health on newsstands on May 25 with La Repubblica, La Stampa and all the newspapers of the Gedi group.

“It is an activity with important cardiotonic, anaerobic, aerobic and above all humoral effects, provided they are performed in safety”, confirms, in the signed article Valentina Arcovio entitled “Pedal every day and the body thanks”, the manager of the osd-simple departmental operating units Physio Training Center of the Gemelli Polyclinic, Simona Ceruli.

Cycling is good for your health, that’s why

The effects of the bicycle

Everyone knows the most obvious effect of the bicycle, namely getting back into shape, one of the most pursued objectives. And a 2017 study, on the British Medical Journal, revealed that people who ride bicycles are generally fitter than people who engage in other types of physical activity. As if that weren’t enough, a recent study by Imperial College London, conducted on 300,000 British commuters aged between 30 and 59, followed up for 25 years, explained that those who mostly go to work by bicycle have a risk of about 20% less early death than for car users. In particular, the possibility of having cardiovascular pathologies drops below 24%. In summary: pedaling is good for the heart, it helps fight tumours, counteract the effects of aging and rejuvenate the immune system,

A brain stimulant

That’s all? At all. Even if cycling is a physical activity, it is able to ‘feed’ the gray matter. Pedaling would stimulate the growth of new connections between cells in the cortical areas of the brain: this is evidenced by a study by the University of California in Los Angeles, while a second research has revealed the contribution to the regrowth of axons on damaged cells after a crush injury of the nerve. Finally, further work has shown that pedaling improves executive functions, from attention to planning.

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The ‘medical humanities’

From the bicycle that is good for health, to the relationship between the patient and the medicine of the future. The step is marked by the intervention of the ‘medical humanities’, capable of establishing a connection between medicine, science, human sciences and the arts. All this was at the center of the conference ‘The medical humanities, or of therapy as art and of art as therapy’, held at the University of Bergamo by Dietrich von Engelhardt, an international authority on the history of medicine and the ethics of medical science. The report by “Salute” talks about it Letizia Gabaglio ‘Not just pills: therapies are also an art’.

“Today precision medicine and personalized medicine are understood too much in terms of technical and biological dimensions, obviously necessary for successful medicine in diagnostics and therapy, but not sufficient – explains von Engelhardt -. The arts and human sciences strongly recall that precision is also subjective, and person also always means consciousness, language and social relationships. A successful doctor-patient relationship and effective treatment essentially depend on these dimensions”.

So if that’s not the case now whose fault is it? Of the doctors? According to Engelhardt, the gaze must be broadened. “Starting from the assumption that art is life and that life is art – continues von Engelhardt – we should learn not only the ars vivendi, but the art of being sick, of assisting a sick person and finally thears dyingthat of dying. Especially in Western society, where the aging of the population poses an ethical and social problem regarding the possibility of assisting an ever-increasing number of people and ensuring them not only years of life but also quality of life”.

Involvement in art therapy

And this is where art comes in: art therapy projects that bring groups of dementia patients into museums exemplify what art can do. “Under the guidance of specialized therapists, an involvement of the patients is aroused through the stimulus of images that can trigger reactions and awaken positive memories”, concludes the expert. A non-verbal communication, which exploits the power of images, which solicits not only the body, but the emotions.

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The food of the future

Lastly, Salute looks at other food, that of new experimentation, above all for European culture. In the service “I get a full protein from larvae”, signed by Naomi Penna, we are talking about the table of the future, which may not be what we expect. The Mediterranean diet could make room for a greener version, with less meat and more alternative proteins. Many shun the idea, but it should be noted that the reality is already partly this: more than 1,900 different species of insects are consumed in the world. And it is also from them that our future livelihood will pass.

It was talked about at Food & Science Festival (in Mantua, from 19 to 21 May – foodsciencefestival.it). With a program that investigated the present, but which is oriented towards the near future: over the three days, sustainability and environmental protection were discussed, as well as the intertwining of local and global policies. And to shed some light on European authorizations and ministerial decrees, the entomologist Barbara Conti of the University of Pisa met Joseph Tresso of Bef Biosystems, an innovative start-up operating in the sustainable insect farming sector. Founded in Turin in 2016, it inaugurated the first Italian pilot plant for breeding soldier fly larvae and is a concrete example of the new industrial prospects opened up by the world of “bugsfarms”, farms that breed insects. Without forgetting, however, the Mediterranean diet which – recalls the dietician Andrea Devecchia doctoral student in Ecogastronomy at the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo – maintains its role alongside other dietary models adopted in other parts of the world”.


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