The Mental Benefits of Biking
There is no question that riding a bike is beneficial for physical health. The same thing can be said of most forms of cardiovascular activity. But did you know that biking can also play an important part in improving mental health?
Subjective Mood and Wellbeing
Increases in a person’s subjective mood and wellbeing have been associated with the act of exercising just 30 minutes a day. Studies have shown this to be true for those who are involved in casual physical activity daily. Unless you live somewhere with especially awkward terrin, biking is an easy way to incorporate this kind of beneficial activity into your daily routine.
Self-Esteem Through Cycling
Our perception of ourselves is important for overall happiness and satisfaction. Maintaining a positive opinion of self worth is difficult in a time where social media and photoshop are focal points of daily life. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Biking for just a short while everyday can help by creating an environment where the cyclist has to focus on what they are doing and not someone else. This time away allows a person to create their own story instead of viewing someone else’s. Independence from comparison and pride in one’s own activities increases self-esteem.
Biking Reduces Stress
There are few things more stressful than sitting in the middle of a traffic jam when you have somewhere you need to be. If you are able to bike to your location, that alleviates serious stress, allows for decent parking and provides some fresh air. Seven out of ten Americans report feeling stressed out daily. Everyone has a coping mechanism to deal with stress. Some options are healthier than others, but we can all agree that biking is on the list of positive alternatives.
Outside Adventures are Best
There are numerous benefits to just being outside. Natural light and vitamin D have a proven ability to boost mood and morale. Exercising has a similar effect, also increasing energy and focus. Exercising outside by riding a bicycle combines two proven remedies for overcoming the blues.
Biking Keeps You Sharp
Moderate daily activity can help prevent cognitive decline. Biking requires a certain amount of focus, especially when riding in a busy area with lots of distractions such as other bikers, pedestrians or cars. This goes for competitive cycling and mountain biking as well. The action of riding a bike can sharpen the ability to learn and remember things and encourage general improvement of brain function.
We aren’t saying that the benefits of biking include becoming smarter and happier, but we are implying that there is a very good possibility of that being true!