81-Year-Old Learns to Skateboard, Says It Helps Prevent Dementia
An 81-year-old Japanese man named Yoshio Kinoshita is your inspirational badass of the week. The retired grandfather recently took up skateboarding, ripping through his local skate park to keep his mind sharp.
Kinoshita bought a skateboard as a spur of the moment purchase for 800 yen (less than $10) and the decision has changed his life for the better. Almost every morning, Kinoshita visits a skate park in Osaka and learns skateboarding tips from the local kids.
"They are all my teachers," Kinoshita says. "For [older] people like me who try to learn new things, if we don't practice it little by little every day we will forget how to do it immediately. That's why I think I have to [come here] and practice every day."
Kinoshita even recommends skateboarding as a potential way to prevent the onset of dementia. “It’s a sport with a sense of tension,” he describes. “Rather than zoning out, I think skateboarding improves the ability to think even just by a little bit.”
“Keeping your mind active is likely to reduce your risk of dementia,” the Alzheimer’s Society reports. “Regularly challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain's ability to cope with disease.”
Kinoshita gained inspiration from skateboarding’s addition into this year’s Olympic Games, where thirteen-year-old Japanese skater Momiji Nishiya won gold in Women’s Street Skateboarding. “They are really incredible,” Kinoshita said of the young skaters at the Osaka park. “To be honest, I can’t beat those five-year-old, four-year-old or three-year-old kids. That’s for sure.”
Watch Kinoshita defy age on his skateboard in the video below.