Proof – Long distance cycling makes you smarter
Some of you may recall a blog I wrote a few months ago in which I compared how Tour d’Afrique’s Epic Tours approximate the situations of hunter/ gatherers. In the blog I referred to the latest research by Dr. Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University where he states that human intelligence peaked at the time of hunter/gatherers and has declined as a result of genetic mutations, which have eroded human brains intellectual and emotional abilities.
In a new research paper by Professor David A. Raichlen – an anthropologist at the University of Arizona – published in proceedings of the Royal Society of Biology, writes that physical activity may have helped to make early humans smarter. Professor Raichlen says that in early human-gatherers society the more athletic and active survived and passed along physiological characteristics that improved their endurance including elevated levels of BDNE (brain derived neurothropic factor) an important factor of endurance. Eventually these early athletes had enough BDNE through their bodies that some would migrate from muscles to the brain where it prodded the growth of brain tissue. Those particular early humans then applied their growing ability to thinking and reasoning how to track prey, which in turn allowed them to become the best fed and most successful from an evolutionary standpoint. In conclusion, being in motion made them smarter and being smarter now allowed them to move more efficiently.
So why do I tell you about all of this? Well there is a good reason. This year for the first time in any of our epic tours, we have a large contingent of young men and women on our African Tour. And these young men and women will most likely sooner or later have children. If Professor David Raichlen is correct than Dr. Gerald Crabtree has nothing to worry when it comes to future generations intelligence declines. That is of course as long as parents around the world realize that not only do they need to send their children to universities but they must insist that their children also cycle at least one of our 7 Epics or preferably at least four – after all they spent four years in the university.