How to Lead a Long and Healthy Life Starting in Your 50s: Satoyama Cycling

This article series is a rewritten version of the series I have already written in my other blog Omi-merchant’s way of Sustainable Prosperity. I am adding some new features here since my knowledge is upgrading day by day.

I wrote about exercises for leading a long and healthy life. One exercise I love to do is Satoyama cycling, which is to go cycling in the countryside.

Cycling, in general, is a good exercise since you can incorporate it in your daily life. You can cycle to commute, you can cycle to go shopping. It is a good example of designing your lifestyle where you move a lot naturally. Try to cycle as much as possible when you go somewhere. It is very common in countries like Netherlands and Demark to cycle for commuting, and that is one of the elements to put them high in the happiness rankings.



A Dutch family stayed with us introduced us to daily cycling.

It is a little difficult to incorporate cycling in our daily life in Japan, however, since we have a lot of mountains, plus cycling roads are not developed and it can be dangerous to cycle on regular car roads.

In my case, when I go to places where I can get to using farmers’ roads, I use a bike as much as possible, but when I go to far places or when I don’t have much time, I drive.



Farmers’ roads are designed for farmers’ trucks and tractors, but they are just like cycling roads since no cars come in there. They are perfect roads to go cycling. I often cycle with my son: We go to the library or the supermarket which is about 8 km away, it is a good distance and we can enjoy the view of rice paddies on the way.



I sometimes go cycling as leisure, too, and that becomes real Satoyama Cycling.



I cycle up and down the hill and it becomes more like mountain biking. As an exercise, mountain biking is even better.