We hear a lot about the physical benefits of bike riding, such as better blood pressure and weight control. But have you thought about how cycling can give your mental health a much-needed assist? It’s true: bike riding has a lot of benefits for mental well-being. Here are seven ways biking helps your brain:
Cycling increases the creation of serotonin and dopamine in your brain. These “happy” chemicals help you regulate your mood and can decrease feelings of anxiety and sadness.
The white matter in our brain serves as a sort of subway system, connecting different parts of your brain. A repeated motion, such as riding a bike, helps maintain this system and can lead to more connected thoughts and reasoning.
A protein called BDNF benefits your neurons, and cycling could generate a healthy dose of the protein in your mind. Because of the increase in BDNF, one of the most exciting biking health benefits is that it could lower your risk of some mental and brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s.
Increasing your activity will encourage your body to enjoy more thorough rest periods. Tiring your muscles out with a long bike ride can promote deep sleep which, in turn, helps you think more clearly and be less stressed out.
Cycling improves the oxygen flow to your muscles, which aids in their healthy growth and recovery. But did you know it does the same thing for your brain? Biking helps your body create more capillaries and brings oxygen and nutrients to your brain. This process can keep your judgment sharp.
Stress is often caused by an imbalance in hormones like cortisol. Cycling helps your body keep stress-causing hormones in check at the same time it creates the happy ones. If you’re prone to cortisol or adrenaline spikes that cause stress, biking could make a huge difference.
When you bike regularly, you may double the number of new brain cells your body creates! Regular activity like biking increases the protein that builds new brain cells and helps us enjoy better neurotransmitter activity. This healthy brain activity could do wonders for mental health and acute decision making.
Whether you’re familiar with foggy thinking or you often complain about stress, cycling can do wonders for your mental health. Just the experience of being out in the world, feeling wind across your face and the sun on your back, can lift your spirits. When you factor in the physiological benefits – cycling is a serious mood booster.
Need a new bike to go with your renewed commitment to cycling for your mental health? Try one of our cruiser bikes or a custom Body Fit bike that is designed for your stature:Join our Journey Club to uncover new and exciting ride locations around the globe!
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