The benefits of cycling for your mental health
I love bicycling5 min read
Benefits of developing this new healthy habit:
- Promotes an Overall Healthy Lifestyle: Cycling is one of the greatest forms of exercise within everyday life. Not every ride has to be a huge ordeal, but even a half hour ride or a commute to and from work can have huge benefits both physically and mentally.
- Natural High (Endorphins!): People often overlook this fact, but have you ever wondered why individuals that are physically active always seem so much happier than those that aren’t? It’s not just a coincidence, and it actually has a lot to do with the chemicals inside of your brain
- It’s a Healthy Addiction: We all have our vices, the things that we turn to in times of stress or emotional trauma. Cycling can replace the more harmful addictions such as cigarettes, alcohol, or overeating and serve as that go-to thing that you know will make you feel better.
- Creative Breakthrough: A recent study showed that after just 30 minutes of cycling, participants scored higher on tests of memory, reasoning, and planning. So, instead of banging your head on your desk or scrolling through Facebook, try heading out for a ride.
- Better Sleep: Exercise has been shown to help regulate your sleep patterns. One reason may be the body-heating effects of exercise and cycling in particular. The increased temperature followed by the post-ride drop promotes falling asleep through decreasing arousal, anxiety, and stress.
- Fights Anxiety and Depression: Pay attention to each rotation of your legs, the rhythm of your breathing, the wind on your face. It may sound cliche, but this will leave no room for the otherwise constant flow of worries running through your mind.
- Increases your Self-Esteem: There’s no better feeling than tackling a tough climb and knowing it’s nothing but your own physical and mental strength getting you to the top. You will feel strong and powerful, and that begins to make it’s way into the other parts of your life.
- Stress Buster: Cycling can be a great way to break the cycle and relieve tension in the body. In turn, as your body relaxes, so will your mind as that stress begins to lift from your shoulders.
- Increased Focus: Cycling and physical activity immediately boost the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention.
- More Energy: It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise is one of the best ways to gain more energy. Yes, you are using physical energy on your ride, but spending time with that elevated heart rate will give you a boost of energy.