As you already know, cycling is a great source of physical exercise. It burns body fat, meliorates your cardiovascular health, and improves your blood circulation. But years of research has expanded the scientific literature of cycling beyond its physiological benefits. In fact, many cycling advocates today espouse the wide array of ways cycling helps mental wellness.
The significance of mental health is anything but lightweight. On the contrary, it may actually be a stronger determiner of overall life expectancy, which simply means that people who are happy live longer. And doesn’t that make sense?
A mentally healthy person is grateful, is more tolerant and understanding, is humble, can cope with tragedy, can accept criticism, and has a great sense of humor—exactly the kind of person who can make the world a much better place.
This could be you, and the path to being a better person starts from taking care of your body. Cycling is one of the many ways that can help you achieve both. Here are some ways cycling helps mental wellness and can help you pedal your way to happiness.
Cycling Reduces Stress
When you’re cycling, your body’s core focus is on breathing and pedaling. This results in balanced cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline (hormone responsible for fight-or-flight response) levels, a prerequisite for stress reduction.
Just 15 minutes of pedaling indoors has been shown to ease anxiety. This effect is even more magnified when you’re cycling outdoors, traveling through scenery. You don’t need to worry about budget also as you can get a good bike for under $500.
Cycling Improves Your Sleep Quality
While there are many different reasons behind why you can’t get enough sleep each night, science is still in consensus as to the fact that chronic lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of physical problems.
This is one of the best ways cycling helps mental wellness as it is a fun and calming remedy to sleep deprivation and will definitely get you in the mood for a good rest.
Cycling Fires Up Happy Hormones
Cycling is an excellent way to fire up happy hormones called endorphins. This is your body’s biochemical response to exercise, which explains why you feel pretty good after your routine morning run.
Setting yourself up for personal challenges, like beating your own power output, is also a thrilling way to make this already exciting activity even more personally rewarding.
Cycling Improves Your Memory
One of the major causes of age-related memory loss is the deterioration of the hippocampus, a region in your brain that’s mainly responsible for forming and recalling memories.
What cycling does is it triggers the firing up of extra nerve cells and intensifies the formation of the BDNF protein, which, in turn, initiates the formation of new brain cells.
Cycling Reduces Risk of Depression
Depression is a silent killer that has claimed millions of lives worldwide. It’s not just sadness, as what many people mistakenly believe, and learning to see the signs can help you or your loved ones take measures to reclaim your mental health.
One of the best ways cycling helps mental wellness is to keep depression at bay as a natural antidepressant.
Cycling Boosts Your Confidence
Your general perception of yourself is important to your general happiness and personal satisfaction, a key philosophy that explains why Instagram and other social networking sites, like Facebook, have become so popular today.
Cycling helps you get into shape, and whether you prefer to brag about it or not, it really does factor into your conscious life.
Cycling Improves Your Productivity
A 2013 study argues for the business benefit of cycling. It was found that employees who bike to work actually are 15 percent more productive than those who don’t. They also take fewer sick days off, and the whole exercise was found to reduce overall health-care cost.
Cycling improves focus at work and cyclists make for happy employees.
The modern world is rife with elements that can lead to chronic unhappiness. When you’re mentally unwell, you lose focus, increase your risk of making bad decisions, and withdraw from your social circle. All these only serve to make the problem worse.
The best investment you can ever make is with yourself. So go out, get on your bike, and pedal your way to a happy life today.