Michael Besser used to fit physical exercise around his demanding work schedule – a bike ride at 4am, a run late in the evening.
But in retirement he found time for so much more.
He was 65 years old when he completed his first ironman event, crossing the line after 14 brutal hours of running, cycling and swimming.
Professor Besser, 66, who was a neurosurgeon at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for more than 30 years, will speak at a Senior’s Week event in Dapto tomorrow about links between dementia and inactivity, and the use of exercise in improving mind function.
He doesn’t suggest that seniors take up an exercise regime as extreme as his own but says a little goes a long way.
‘‘It doesn’t need to be much,’’ Prof Besser said.
‘‘If you walk three times a week for 40 minutes and get a bit breathless, that’s enough.’’
Prof Besser, a NSW Seniors Week ambassador, will outline research on the evolutionary aspects of brain development and will reference studies showing the incidence of dementia can be reduced by 30 per cent with exercise.
His talk is part of a mini-expo at the Dapto Ribbonwood Centre that also includes input from service providers Medicare, Centrelink, Vision Australia and others.
The expo, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, includes a free lunch and is part of a week-long program of free events for seniors, including a historical walk through Puckey’s Estate, guided tours of Future World, tai chi lessons, croquet, community lunches, fitness classes, film screenings and a seniors blessing service at Nan Tien Temple today from 10.30am.
Phone 13 63 57 for information about the mini-expo and check out the events section of Wollongong City Council’s website for the full Senior’s Week program.