Motorcycle riders are perceived to be smarter and stronger. Ryuta Kawashima, a Japanese neuroscientist and the creator of Nintendo’s “Brain Age” conducted a small study in order to prove the hypothesis. Though the study was limited in scope, it did show convincing results that riding motorcycles can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
“Kawashima took 22 men in their 40s and 50s, who had motorcycle licenses but hadn’t ridden for at least a decade. He had half ride a motorcycle every day for two months, while the other half were not allowed to. All the men were given a series of tests before and after the two months — as a result, “the group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks in cognitive function tests,” Kawashima said. In fact, the group that didn’t ride for 2 months had a marginal decrease in their scores. Meanwhile, the motorcycle riders reported that they were making fewer mistakes at work and were feeling happier in general.”
The findings of this study showed an improvement in memory, enhancement of spatial reasoning, and decrease in the stress levels and careless errors. This increased level of awareness and concentration is said to result in greater focus and a stronger brain power even post the ride is over. The findings even showed that the riders experienced a higher level of happiness. The release of endorphins that is the outcome of riding a motorcycle is responsible for elevating the mood.
According to him, driving an automatic car doesn’t require a copious activation of brain – it is said to have a more comfortable mechanism. You tend to sit in a more inactive manner. Perfect example is when one gets caught in traffic, while car riders are sitting inside inactively, bike riders are mostly still balancing the heavy machinery. The motorcycle that you sit on needs an intense level of both mental and physical involvement including higher levels of awareness and concentration. In the study conducted on both type of riders, the findings showed that while riding a motorcycle the ‘right hemisphere of the frontal lobe was activated.’ Your right temporal lobe is accountable for – memory, problem solving, decision making, motor behavior, impulse control, making judgements, and social behavior. However, it was also derived that these benefits are only stimulated as long as one rides regularly. if the riders cease to ride on a regular basis, these benefits will be lost.
Dr. Kawashima is quite popular for inventing and designing a great number of brain-teaser games that have not only showed an improvement in the memory of 60% of dementia suffers, but it also earned him more than 30 million dollars in royalties.
I remember the first time I was asked to hop on a bike. It was my first experience with motorcycle riding. Even as a pillion rider I was able to understand the body strength and focus needed to maneuver the motorcycle around. It also made me realize that riding a motorcycle is an exercise in itself, especially when you have to navigate and crisscross through the rough traffic conditions in India.
Did you know that motorcycle riding can burn up to 200-300 calories every hour? Riding against the wind proves to be more exerting and hence more calories! When one is riding a bike, there is a constant use of muscles needed to keep the balance going. There is also a high utilization of knees and thighs. This means it not only tones up your muscles used in a big way but also makes your knees stronger. So, when you ride a motorcycle, you end up getting a full body workout.
“’When you ride a motorcycle, the entire body is under stress; all the muscles are working, and the nervous system is very much activated with the proprioceptive sensors in order to keep balance and coordination. The only other sport that could be compared is waterskiing, the most demanding sport overall,’ says Dr. Vincenzo Tota, official physician of BMW Motorcycle’s elite racing team”– Nicolas Stecher
Motorcycle is a physical activity. To even reach a ‘healthy’ level of being able to ride a motorcycle one needs to be strong enough and in a good shape to be able to ride one. A motorcycle workout is a must because you need the potency and energy to steer the motorcycle around, especially if your travel involves longer duration. You need to work on both general and core strength to ensure your joints are not stiff and there is immense flexibility in your movements. A good level of strength is necessary that can be achieved through exercises such as push-ups, squats, pull-ups etc. Don’t forget to work on your posture as a wrong posture can result in aches/injury and can make riding a motorcycle more exhausting.
An active and healthy brain along with great body is invaluable. You need to work for it! However, you don’t need to hit the gym or try to solve those ridiculously crazy puzzles to get your daily dose of body/brain workout. Just ride the motorcycle – every single day! For those of you who travel by cars or public transport, Ontrack is giving you yet another reason to rent a bike for daily commute – apart from being affordable and hassle-free, it’s an outstandingly healthy option! To rent a bike and know more about our services connect with us.