What effects does cycling have on Mental Health?


  I’m going to start with a fact which most of you will have heard before, but some will have not. 1 in 4 people out of the 7 billion people living in the world, that’s 1.75 billion, will suffer with some form of mental health issue at any given point of their life. Another fact which you have probably heard before is that exercise can massively reduce these feelings of struggle when battling with mental health issues – and speaking as someone close to multiple sufferers of mental health problems, I can confirm there is some truth behind this.

As a business selling bike racks, cycling is inevitably going to be our point of interest, it's just a good coincidence that it is an amazing contribution towards a better state of mind for many reasons. Cycling is an aerobic exercise that most people can engage in as it is low impact and no experience is needed (except from being able to ride the bike). It can be as sociable or unsociable as you’d like to make it as there are cycling groups all over. Cycling can also be incorporated into an everyday routine without eating into your social life by doing things such as scrapping the car or public transport and cycling into work instead. Listed below are the key benefits which cycling can bring into a person’s life:

  1. CYCLING REDUCES STRESS – Without going too ‘sciencey’ cycling reduces the production of a hormone called Cortisol, which is what causes us to feel stress. Now, it would be naïve to believe that cycling will release someone from every single stress of life, as stress comes from all sorts of different aspects, however, a little bit is better than nothing – but there are bigger benefits achieved through cycling.
     
  2. CYCLING REDUCES ANXIETY – Again, without going into too much science, aerobic exercise releases endorphins (a load of hormones into your brain) which increase the mood and make people feel happier – thus creating a mild euphoria.
     
  3. PROMOTES MINDFULLNESS – When cycling, the concentration put into pedalling, the fresh air and your scenery is a massive thought blocker. It allows you to have some time with a clear mind without thoughts and worries circling round and round – which gives a sense of relief.
     
  4. HELPS BATTLE DEPRESSION – Exercise, including cycling has been proven to help ease symptoms of depression. Also, regular exercise (3 or more times a week) reduces the risk of becoming depressed in the future.
     
  5. INCREASES SELF-ESTEEM – Cycling is a great way to improve one’s self esteem as exercise both makes you more positive and increases your fitness. Seeing yourself become fitter is an extreme confidence boost and can cheer almost anyone up!

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