What does cycling mean to you?
To us, cycling means freedom. Freedom of movement, freedom to commute, to enjoy the elements, the open road and freedom of mind.
Jumping on your bike and hitting the road will forever be one of the best dopamine hits there is and while any form of exercise is great for your general physical health, cycling has so many attributes that benefit your mental health just as much.
There are many studies out there that have found that exercise incorporating the exposure to the outdoors incorporates a magic mixture for optimum emotional and mental health and it is now readily considered a therapeutic component to deal with and beat depression, anxiety and stress. Due to its accessible nature and low impact on the body, cycling is continually held as a rhythmic, aerobic form of exercise that has brain and mood boosting benefits.
Just some of the positive effects of cycling include:
- Improvement in mood: ask any keen cyclist and they will tell you about 'the cycling high'. Cycling pumps blood around the body faster than most sports due to the nature of the muscle groups being used. This, in turn allows for the spread of endorphins and other amazing, mood boosting substances like dopamine.
- Promotion of positive mental health: due to the nature of cycling and the speed at which you can cover great distances, see different roads, towns and even cities mean it is one of the most effective forms of exercise for dealing with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and stress.
- Improvement in sleep quality: cycling regularly can help with the synchronisation of your circadian rhythm which has the ability to reduce stress level hormones that can negatively impact deep, regenerative sleep.
- Improvement in creative thinking: if you've ever spoken to a cyclist that covers great distances, they'll tell you of the relaxing effect cycling has on the brain (perhaps not so much on big climbs or at the end of a 100 mile ride.) And, as such, cycling has the ability to be one of the best places to think.
- Promotion of social interaction: cycling is one of the most sociable, passionate and genuine sports you will find. Pelotons are full of kind hearted, like minded people! Some of the best conversations we have ever been involved in have come in the middle of a group ride.
- Improvement in bedroom behaviour: (we're not kidding) 😉 one lesser known benefit of cycling is that it largely utilises the same key muscles we use when making sweet love... so, the next time your partner gives you a hard time about that coffee and cake group ride, just give them a little reminder of this!
So, the next time you want to boost your mood, blow off some steam or simply pump up your heart rate a little. Steer clear of the car and grab your bike! That commute to work, quick nip to the shops or spin around the block will benefit you in ways your body and mind will thank you for more than you know.