Robert Marchand was dark for one hour to establish this new record – by PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP

A fine example. On Wednesday, Robert Marchand has impressed the whole of France with his feat on a bike. At the velodrome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, the indefatigable cyclist has set a new historic record by browsing 22,547 miles in an hour at a steady pace. Of what to encourage the more than 60 years to find sneakers and dumbbells ?

A continuous effort

With the advances in medicine and increased life expectancy, it is not unusual to see retired people ultra-athletes. “We have centenarians who remain in sports, but with moderate physical activity,” stresses Dr Christophe de Jaeger, president of the French Society of medicine and physiology of longevity. With Robert Marchand, this is the first time that one has an actual performance to someone 105 years old. What is exceptional is not so much the speed that was relatively reduced, but the duration of the effort that was ongoing for an hour. Besides, I think he would have been able to pedal faster, or even more a long time, but it has managed to stay reasonable and adjust his bet to his training. “

But how his heart was he able to hold ? For this doctor, the only secret is good preparation and a reasonable goal. “Of course, this kind of situation could have evolved on a cardiac accident or a fall. But he was very prepared, he trains since he was 60 years old. If we had put a person in a retirement home on a bike, at the end of a round, it would have collapsed, ” says the author of the book Long life (published by Telemachus).

Message of hope

This must not discourage the pensioners. Because of this feat it delivers a message of hope. “We see in our consultations a lot of people who give up the sport for 60 or 70 years,’ says the specialist. It has shown that even after 100 years, the door remains open. For all these spectators to marvel, it is an opportunity to get back to the sport ! Especially as it is in the good resolutions of the new year… “

If you hope to be as fit as Robert Merchant to 105 years, with the latter conveys three key messages. “The first is that you should never stop to train analysis Christophe de Jaeger. He rides a bike every day for forty years. Regularity is essential when doing sports and so much more at this age.

The second tip to follow to complement his preferred sport by the physical culture. That is to say, not to become a prisoner of a particular sport, cycling in his case, but to continue the gym, the weight training. Finally, the third lesson for the general public, it is to avoid excess in general. “

In fact, in all media, curious about his secret to such good health, Robert Merchant said, ” sport, a lot of fruits and vegetables, not too much coffee, no cigarettes, very little alcohol “. Because the hygiene of life is essential. “But the weight is a false friend, alert the specialist. We can do 60 kg his whole life, but have lost muscle and gained fat. “

>> also read : Cycling: A 105-year-old, Robert Marchand sets a new hour record with 22,547 km travelled

A practice framed

So what are the prerequisites before returning to the sport after the age of 60 ? A passage in the doctor to make a medical examination. “We’re not going to advise the same thing to a former athlete 60 years of age and an overweight person 75 years of age, insists the doctor. The major risk is cardiac accident. Then come the incidents of bone-ligament such as sprains, tendinitis, or joint pain. “

Before any thing, therefore it is necessary that the medical examination screened for contraindications and referred to a particular fiscal year. But above all, the key word is escalation. “Those who are injured the most often, these are the former athletes who are arrested and re-entering the sport as if they had never stopped. It doesn’t have to aim for the Olympic Games ! “

So what are the sports best suited to the general age ? Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, elliptical (as it is working your whole body in a somewhat traumatic), swimming… ” But it should also verify that you exercise at the right frequency, the right intensity and the right duration. We just need to evaluate your muscle mass prior to the recovery, and after 3 or 6 months. If it does not increase, or even decreases, it is that your training is useless, ” points out Christophe de Jaeger. “A lot of patients think they are doing enough sports with their 20 minutes of walking daily. But in general, what are advised to the elderly, it is a suitable sport for an hour three times per week. “A good understander.

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