Riding an ebike has a lot of health benefits and can be a great way to stay fit, get outside, and connect to the community. That’s true for recreational riders like you and me, as well as people who ride all the time as a part of their everyday life. If you don’t already ride a bike, it’s never too late to start.
Whether you ride an electric bike to keep in shape and healthy, or you just enjoy taking leisurely rides on weekends, there are plenty of mental health benefits that come from riding a bike. Here are ways on how cycling can help your mental health.
7 Mental Health Benefits of Biking
Lowers Stress Levels
There are some pressures in life that are more severe than others. Some problems can be solved with a hot bath and a cup of tea, but others are, shall we say, a little bit bigger. But how effective is cycling in assisting us in coping with life's stresses? Cortisol is the body's stress hormone, and it helps you to fight or escape in stressful conditions. However, having increased cortisol levels over a prolonged period of time due to a demanding and stressful lifestyle may increase your chances of obesity, insomnia, depression, heart disease, and digestive problems.
Unfortunately, work can be very stressful, and for many people, getting out on two wheels can help them cope. Especially with the protocols in place while we wait for the coronavirus cure, riding your ebike regularly can help keep you sane.
Cycling reduces our stress levels, which means we're less likely to experience anxiety-related symptoms. Cycling also has some of the same anti-anxiety effects as some antidepressants. Endorphins, which are your body's own painkillers, are activated in your brain as soon as you sit in the saddle and start pedaling. While they're mainly released to keep our bodies from being too sore from exercise, they also help us relax and feel better. Reduce anxiety even further with an ebike as you don’t have to worry about getting back! Choose your adventure and complete it your way.
Fight Against Depression
The University of Toronto recently published a study of 26 years of experimental testing, confirming what many experts had long theorized. Exercise can not only help you recover from stress, but it can also help you avoid it. In reality, according to studies, exercising three days a week reduces the risk of depression on an inactive adult by 19 percent.
While this research seemed to suggest that regular bike rides help improve and even prevent depression, it remains unclear how it does so. A lot of scientists suggest the connection is more subtle than you would imagine, such as offering a diversion from unpleasant conditions or promoting healthy behaviors like a better diet or sleeping routine.
Helps You Practice Mindfulness
Cycling is a great tool to practice being mindful, your only focus is to keep on pedaling. Electric bikes are especially relaxing when using the assist, the rhythmic pedaling without extreme changes in effort can be very focusing. This means the mind will take a rest from the constant barrage of thoughts that come with everyday life.
Boosts Your Self-Esteem
We all know that having high self-esteem helps us feel positive for ourselves, and cycling is an ideal way to improve self-esteem. You will get a sense of accomplishment if you stick to a cycling workout regimen and see your strength and performance improve. Furthermore, in a world that seems to be obsessed with body image, how we look has a strong impact on our self-esteem. Cycling increases our health and appearance, which has a huge positive influence on how we view ourselves. Ebiking is a great way to “subtly” gain these benefits while choosing how much effort you put into your rides.
Prevents Cognitive Decline
It's an inconvenient fact of life that as we age, our minds become a bit, shall we say, sluggish. When we age and degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's invade brain cells, we can lose many essential brain functions.
Long-term memory is an essential brain feature that is often at risk. The hippocampus is the brain system responsible for this, and it seems to play a key role in aspects like recalling past memories, information, and incidents. However, it's not just bad news: physical activity, such as swimming, has recently been discovered to reverse our deteriorating hippocampal function as we age and also in diseases like Alzheimer's.
Improves Your Social Life
Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about cycling's mental health advantages, we’re here to let you know that it can also improve your social life. If you're a member of a cycling club or have a community of cycling enthusiasts, there's nothing like getting together with people who share your passion for the sport. You can find great places to ride with your group and explore new trails.
The advantages go far beyond just filling up your weekend calendar. Socializing with like-minded people on a daily basis has been shown to lower stress and anxiety, boost memory and recall, and even lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes!
Every word is so true. I am a nurse practitioner in the ER. The stress of Covid – worries about catching it and taking care of the really critically ill patients we had this year -was taking it’s toll. I would come home exhausted both mentally and physically just from the work of putting on PPE, taking off PPE ….. I got my bike in October 2020 and it was the best ,most positive thing all year. I can really say, without a doubt it kept me sane. I could not wait to get back to it when the weather got better this spring. I’ve been out 3 times since the beginning of March and it’s just as great as last year. A live saver for sure. Thanks!!