Yesterday, October 10th, was World Mental Health Day. To us, at Rad Power Bikes, a very important day, as we aim to not just keep Planet Earth healthy, but also You.
There are many studies that talk about the positive physical impacts that cycling, and now also ebiking brings to us, humans. And now, there is a growing amount of research on the mental health benefits of cycling. We often hear about ebiking being a great “barrier breaker” for people with a more sedentary lifestyle, or those with some extra pounds (kilos).
Ebiking is a great aerobic exercise, one you can do without feeling overly exhausted. The fun and joy of the ride, and the social aspect of doing it with friends or family, make this workout super fun. But what about the mental health impact of riding an (e)bike?
A Magical Combination
It is no secret that being outdoors and exercising is a mood booster. Whether you are walking, golfing, biking or any other form of outdoor adventures, the magical combination of fresh air, green leaves and varying landscapes lift all spirits. And Ebiking is no different. Studies found that people on ebikes, tend to stay outdoors longer, ride further, and enjoy a ride more frequently then people who walk or ride traditional bikes. So, in comparison, you get the health benefits in heaps and spades.
Research suggests that riding an (e)bike has an increased positive impact on numerous issues like anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia and memory challenges. So let’s look at these in detail.
Endorphins - like sunshine on a cloudy day
Did you know that your body produces endorphins while you are exercising? It, in fact, is produced to combat muscle strain and reduce the perception of any muscle pain you may feel from overexerting yourself. But the funny thing is, the same endorphins also combat anxiety and depression, so while your body is busy producing a natural painkiller, it is also fighting the dark clouds that hang over us sometimes.
Clearing your mind
Stress has become a daily companion in our modern world, some days are worse than others, but no one lives truly without stress. Taking a break, clearing your mind or practicing mindfulness is not always an easy achievement, but it is necessary to combat stress. Interestingly though, riding an (e)bike seems to help leave your everyday stress behind you.
Researchers found that cycling focuses the mind on the here and now, on one task only and helps “blend out” the rest. This provides moments and periods of mindfulness without much extra effort.
An additional benefit of a clear mind is improved creativity, creative problem solving and boosted mental dexterity. So next time you are stuck with a problem, why not take a bike ride and see if a new idea pops into your mind to help you move forward?
The physical exertion of the exercise, combined with the stress and anxiety reducing impact of riding a bike have shown that regular cycling leads to improved sleep. This in turn leads to improved brain recovery and memory function. There are some new studies that are looking into the “healing” or “maintaining” qualities of cycling for people with memory issues, such as Dementia and Alzheimers.
Strengthening your brain
So while you are cycling away those extra pounds (and kilos) all these healing properties of cycling lead ultimately to a soaring spirit and a boost in confidence. These are great additions to the physical benefits of cycling. But did you know that cycling also grows your brain? No? We did not either. In fact, some new research is focusing on the positive physical changes of your brain when you cycle regularly. The increased blood flow brings more oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which helps build more protein, a building block for new brain cells. This process is not unlike any other muscle building activity in the rest of your body. Isn't that fascinating?
Now don’t worry, you won’t get a big head from cycling, so hop on that Rad ebike.
With so many positive mental health experiences, how could you not incorporate a nice bike ride into your every day. Use a bike to commute, to shop or to just meet with friends. The only thing you need to worry about is how to combat muscle aches in your face, from all the smiling you will be doing while riding Rad.