Cycling is not just great for getting you from A to B in a busy city but it’s also great for your physical health, with it being a great form of exercise to tone up your legs and lose weight. Surprising, cycling is also really good for your mental health and wellbeing too – who knew?!
Mental Health Benefits Of Cycling
Cycling is often talked about as a great workout for fitness and weight loss. The positive impact of cycling on your mental health are often not discussed, so here are some health benefits of cycling for your mental health and well being.
1) Cycling Can Increase Self-Esteem
Not only does cycling increase your self-esteem through physical factors such as increased confidence due to weight loss or enhanced muscle mass, but cycling also increases our self-esteem through the feeling of accomplishment. It’s such a great feeling when we reach our chosen destination, whether thats down to relief that you’ve got to where you wanted to be or the sheer the distance you’ve travelled. Imagine that feeling knowing that you physically got yourself there, without relying on a car or public transport, just your legs getting you from A to B.
Look to cycle to work where you can to start your day in a great mood, with high self-esteem, you’ll soon notice a difference in what you achieve.
2) Cycling Can Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety can be one of the most debilitating forms of a mental health disorder, with it being easily unnoticeable and easily misinterpreted to stress, it’s such a relief to know that cycling can help decrease levels of anxiety.
The majority of different exercises can help reduce anxiety, but the thought of running or joining the gym can do exactly the opposite of what you want and cause anxiety. As cycling is a relatively ‘casual’ exercise, you can go as hard or as easy as you want. Whether its a casual cycle around the surrounding area, taking in the fresh air and enjoying the views, its so easy to return from a road cycle relaxed and stress free, knowing that you’ve also burnt off some energy at the same time.
Studies have shown time and time again that exercise can reduce the occurrence and severity of anxiety attacks so try it for yourself.
3) Cycling Can Reduce Stress & Depression
Did you know that long-term stress can have an impact on our physical health and often lead to poor sleeping patterns, heart irregularities and other severe health issues? Thats why it’s really important to ensure you actively take actions to keep stress levels at a minimum.
When you exercise, chemicals are released in your brain which in term impact the negative feelings of depression and stress. Cycling has been show to increase the production of serotonin in the brain, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter, resulting in an improvement in your mood and decreased levels of stress and depression.
Depression can also be linked prolonged period indoors. It’s so easy to go from your home, to your car, to work, back to your car and then back home. Cycling is a great form of exercise that forces you often out of your home and into the outside world. Enjoy the positive feeling of fresh air and sunlight on your mental health, even if it’s just taking time out to forget about your typical day to day life.
Cycling is also a social sport, you can easily go cycling with friends or join your local cycling group, you don’t need to be a pro. When you’re suffering with depression, sometime a chat or friendly faces are all you need to turn your mood around.
If you’re feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or just down then give cycling a try and enjoy the positive impact it has on your mood.