The benefits of cycling may be too numerous to list, but there are probably some aspects then you may not have thought about before. We all know that riding a bike is great for your physical health, but what about your mental health?
There has always been a link between exercise and improved mood, as studies through the years have revealed, but it goes beyond just a good mood. As more and more research is being done, there is a clear link between exercise (specifically outdoor exercise) and combatting depression, anxiety, and stress.
Pros Of Cycling For Mental Health
- Promotes an Overall Healthy Lifestyle
- Increases your confidence
- Cycling helps fight depression
- Keeps your mind strong
- Increased Focus
- More Energy
- Better Sleep
Cycling for positive mental health
- It improves your mood. Regular cyclists often talk about the “cycling high”, cousin to the well-recognized “runner’s high”. Cycling pumps blood around your body at a greater rate which allows for the rapid spread of endorphins and other good substances like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
- It promotes positive mental health. Self-Esteem, depression, anxiety, and stress are all positively affected through exercise, but the nature of cycling has to be one of the most effective activities for the head and heart.
- It helps you sleep better. Regular riding helps synchronize your circadian rhythm and can help to reduce levels of stress hormones that can make proper regenerative, deep sleep difficult.
- Improves your memory. Riding a bike helps to build new brain cells that are responsible for memory. See the ‘your brain on biking’ section later in this piece for more Improves creative thinking. The regular, uniform movement of cycling has a relaxing effect on the brain, stabilizing both physical and mental functions.
Cycling promotes new thought patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It can be a great way to “zone out,” but you can even use it for a form of meditation. Tip: Concentrate on the actions, each movement of your legs, the rhythm of your breathing, the wind on your face. Focus only on the physical sensations and actions of riding and you may be surprised just how easily your mind clears.
- Increased contact with your neighbors and community.
- Calmer and safer roads.
- More "eyes on the street
- “Safety in numbers.”
Leaving your vehicle at home:
- Cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change.
- Reduces noise pollution and congestion.
- Reduces the need for new parking lots and roadways.
- Reduces your ecological footprint.
- Reduces air pollutants (walking and biking emit no greenhouse gases).
Saves valuable green space from development.
Where to get help
- Your doctor
- Perfect Cyclist
In the end, quote for cycling:-
“Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.“
— By Terry Pratchett
We often write about the benefits of exercise for physical and emotional health. Several studies have found that the combination of exercise and exposure to the outdoors is a bit of a magic combination for emotional and mental health – it’s now considered a key therapeutic component of any strategy to combat depression, anxiety, and stress.