Cycling is good for your mental health and can make you more productive at work. Here are a few reasons why cycling makes you happier and healthier.
Bicycles have been around for a long time, and their popularity has increased dramatically in recent years. Bikes have become the preferred mode of transportation for many people because it’s cheap, environmentally friendly, and good exercise.
Bicycle riding improves your lung function, muscle development, and fast-tracks weight loss. Plus, those who choose to ride their bike to work found it has a positive impact on their mental clarity, productivity, and overall attitude.
Take A Ride And Reap The Physical Benefits
It’s a well-known fact that you need to exercise to remain healthy. But did you know that a bicycle has certain advantages over other types of physical activity?
Scientific studies show that a simple bike ride contributes to weight loss and builds muscles. Not only that, you’ll put less stress on your joints. Cycling helps increase your mobility and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Cycling also reduces your exposure to air pollution. Air pollution is linked to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and respiratory diseases.
When you ride your bike, you are exposed to significantly less black carbon when compared to those who drive or walk to work. Specifically, drivers experience five times higher pollution levels than bikers and three and a half times more than pedestrians. Cycling reduces your exposure to toxic fumes and decreases your risk of developing pollution-induced medical conditions.
Not sure where to begin? Use these three tips to help you get started:
- Teach yourself how to ride again. To ease your intimidation, take a ride in an empty parking lot or a seldom-used path or trail. Practice how to use your brakes and shift gears. Soon, your confidence will grow and you’ll be ready to ride.
- Set realistic goals. Start with fifteen minutes a day. Even a short bike ride provides health benefits. When you start to feel comfortable, bump it by 15 minutes every few days. Eventually, you can work your way up to 100 – 150 minutes a week.
- Integrate biking into your daily routine. Need to visit the post office? Ride your bike. Do you visit a nearby friend regularly? Cruise your bike to their house. Take your bike on short errands or trips to boost your confidence and make it a daily habit.
Over a short amount of time, you’ll see that cycling has improved your lung function, muscle strength, and overall health.
Physical Activity Improves Your Mental Health
It’s true, biking to work is more than just good for your physical health. It also has a positive effect on mental health and work performance. People who exercise daily are much happier than those who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Cycling drastically improves your mood. It pumps blood through your body at a greater rate, and this allows your endorphins connected to emotions — like norepinephrine and serotonin — to spread at a rapid speed.
Cycling improves your memory after just a 30-minute ride because regular riding helps build new brain cells that are responsible for memory. It also reduces your levels of anxiety and depression. Riding a bike stimulates the production of dopamine, which contributes to reduced stress and a better mood.
The YMCA conducted a study in which they surveyed employees on several emotional health factors. The study found that people who engage in cycling regularly reported fewer poor mental health days and an overall positive mindset. Cyclists noticed that biking to work in the morning helped them be more efficient, energized, and less likely to make mistakes.
Cycling can also help normalize your sleep schedule. For some, a full night’s sleep is not an easy accomplishment. Sleep deprivation can cause impaired judgment, lower creativity, and a higher risk of car accidents. It’s simple — cycling is an easy form of exercise, and exercise improves sleep.
Go On A Bike Ride Today, You’ll See Results Instantly
Sure, your car or a city bus is a faster way to commute. However, studies show that they can damage your health and wellness, which affects your productivity. There might be days where circumstances might not allow you to ride your bike, but it is worth the effort to pedal when you can.
Remember, cycling isn’t a miracle cure, but studies continue to show that it can have a positive effect on your physical health. You’ll add years to your life and reduce the risk of developing certain health conditions because of your strong immune system.
Physical activity also affects your mental health, and cycling is a great way to get your body moving. Cycling enhances your brain functions, specifically your ability to focus and engage in your daily tasks. A quick ride every morning will free your mind and set you up for success every day.
It’s time to get your bike out of the garage and go on a ride. Protect your new favorite way to get healthy (your bike!) with insurance options as low as $8 a month.