Exercise is a key part of boosting it all - this is why we believe getting on a bike is a great way of improving your overall mood. We've put together 6 reasons why cycling helps your mood, helping you to have a healthy everyday life.
Sometimes circumstances in our life can cause us to feel low. Stress, the routine, work, the dark cold mornings during winter, bad weather, etc. may make us spend more time cooped up inside, stuffing our faces with comfort food disconnecting from everything. Although this is great every now and then, it may not be great for you in the long term. It can cause detrimental effects on your health, both physical and mental. Easy things like grabbing your bike and making a round can make a big difference for your mental health and here are the reasons why.
Studies have proven that even a 10-minute brisk walk can improve our mental alertness and energy, giving us an enhanced positive mood - so what could a weekend full-day cycle do for your mental health? Fresh air is key to a healthy lifestyle. It's been proven to boost your immune system, fill you with new energy and beat stress. You know a great wait to get some fresh air? Cycling!
Aerobic exercise is shown to reduce the level of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is known as the 'stress hormone', so reducing this means your stress levels are likely to drop too. Stress can be a trigger for other health conditions and keeping control of this can improve your overall mental health.
Physical exercise is a proven anti-depressant, lifting your mood. It releases natural endorphins. Endorphins are our feel-good hormones, offering us a feeling of euphoria. Overall, this hormone can reduce your anxiety and boost your mood! A natural legal drug guaranteed to make you happy.
Physical activity and exercise give us a positive attitude towards our own abilities and self-worth. Often we believe we can't complete an activity or make it the extra few miles, then when we do an overwhelming sense of pride takes over. You do it, you beat your own goals and then your self-esteem gets a fantastic boost.
In the hustle of everyday life, we all need a little bit of time to ourselves to escape. Getting out on your bike gives you the perfect opportunity to take in some fresh air and enjoy the outdoor views. You can pop your headphones in or listen to the humming of the countryside.
The idea of mindfulness is that you take in all your surroundings. Every scent, feeling and action around you. So as you ride your bike along a canal trail, take in the sound of the birds, the smell of freshly cut grass and observe those sailing their boats - obviously continue to pay attention to the trail too. This will allow you to take your mind off your worries and focus all your attention on the present moment.
Cycling UK conducted a survey of almost 11,500 off-road cyclists and found "91% of respondents rated off-road cycling as fairly or very important for their mental health". So there you have it - evidentiary proof that cycling is great for improving your overall mental health. Do you have any favourite riding routes that help to clear your head?
You don't need to suffer in silence, you can speak to someone confidentially about your mental health and wellbeing by calling one of the following numbers:
MIND: 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans: 116 123.