In a previous post, I talked about the health benefits of cycling just 15 minutes a day, and might I add they can really help you be a healthier version of yourself. But in today’s post, I would like to talk about the mental health benefits of cycling.
Lower Risks of Depression
Depression has become more and more common these days as there are so many things happening in the world. with that said, many people are looking for ways to fight depression, and to try and avoid it completely. In my opinion, one way of doing that is through cycling. This may be due to the fact that as you’re cycling, you become more mindful of your surroundings and even yourself, which helps as a distraction from other things that are going on, and makes you focus on the present. As you are more concentrated on the wind that is coursing through your body, you put less focus on the negative thoughts at the back of your head, and fully committed to your bike on the road.
I would add that it may also help when cycling through a quiet area than a bustling city filled with vehicles and air that is quite hard to breathe in. But of course, if cycling through the city makes you feel better through the comfort of others around you, then by all means go ahead. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to choosing their desired location for cycling, so experiment a little if you’re just getting started.
Lower Stress Levels
As a human being, having stress is virtually unavoidable, as a lot of things in your life can and will somehow give you stress. But instead of avoiding stress completely, what you can do instead that may be more effective is to lower your stress levels through cycling. For example, if you were to cycle to work in the morning instead of driving, not only will that morning bike ride help elevate your mood, but also reduce your stress in the process. This is because studies have shown that exercising can help reduce stress levels, and since cycling is considered an exercise, this would be a win-win situation for cyclist.
Another reason for this may be due to the fact that cycling has been shown to help reduce your levels of cortisol, which is basically the stress hormones in your body created to cope with our more demanding modern lifestyle. And with this elevated level of cortisol, it may lead to an increase chance of obesity, insomnia and many more problems. Cycling helps bring down your cortisol level, meaning your stress levels go down, and the time spent in bed with your eyes closed goes up.
As mentioned to death up to this point, cycling is a form of exercise, and of course, exercise itself brings many benefits to your mental and physical health. On that note, cycling can really help improve growth in your brain, which in turn helps with the improvement of your memory. So if you suck at remembering which restaurant your wife loves or are having trouble memorizing history lessons, cycling may help you out. One reason for this is because cycling can help grow your cardiovascular system further into deeper regions of your brain, which helps with the carrying of oxygen and nutrients to your supercomputer that can really help with its performance.
Cycling also helps with the production of protein in your brain, which is needed for the creation of new brain cells in your brain. Considering the mindfulness of cycling, this activity also helps with your focus and concentration, which forces you to use your brain more, and like almost everything in life, the more you use or do it, the better it gets.
Boosts self-esteem levels
As we live in the age of social media, where anyone can see anyone’s life on social media, from all the places they’ve visited all their accomplishments, it can be a punch in the gut to realize that you’re not the one doing and accomplishing all those things, and that can affect your confidence and self-esteem in a bad way. So, seeing as to how this is a cycling blog, of course, I’ll be talking about how cycling can help boost your self-esteem. A simple thought at the back of your mind about the environment can already help with your self-esteem through cycling. You know how in this day and age, no matter where you go there is always a vehicle that leaves major carbon footprints. With that thought in mind, through cycling, you’re helping reduce carbon footprint, as cycling emits almost nothing. The thought of making a small difference can really make you feel a little better about yourself.
Besides that, even though you may be cycling as a hobby, you can still set yourself some goals to achieve. For example, you want to ride for more than 30 minutes today, and next week you want to make it to 45 minutes a day, and the following week an hour, and so on. By giving yourself goals to accomplish, this gives you a sense of accomplishment, and of course a sense of fulfillment in your life, all through the help of cycling.
Improves creative thinking
You’re sitting in your home, trying to work on your project or something, when you come to the realization that you are unable to come up with something to do that will make your project stand out to your client. And as mentioned above and you’ve probably noticed this from the website’s name, this is a cycling blog, so yes, cycling will help you with your creative block. You know how as mentioned before that cycling is an exercise that is mostly about mindfulness, and how to most people it is a form of relaxing exercise that helps you focus on the now? Well in this case one reason why you’re probably having a creative block in my opinion is because you’re probably thinking way too much. So many things are going on in your head that you are unable to come up with new things or even think straight for that matter.
That’s why through cycling, as you ride your bike, you take in the fresh air and wind that in some way, may help you get rid of that mental block and let the creative juice flowing. As the saying goes, the best ideas usually happen in the shower (probably not a saying but I’ve heard it somewhere), the same thing may happen to you through cycling as both activities are super relaxing and through relaxing can you start coming up with greater things that may change your life.