“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” A quote from John. F. Kennedy tells it all about how magical cycling can be! We are all known to the fact that cycling make us fitter. There are researches which show that cycling or riding a bike also aids in sharpening our thinking and eradicates the stress. In this current article we will talk about the mental health benefits of cycling where we will know in a fair way if cycling can improve brain power. Hope you will have a nice read!
Mental Health Benefits of Cycling:
It is known from research and studies that people who go for at least 30 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike; did well and scored higher on tests of reasoning, planning and memory than before. It was also found that they completed their tests faster after cycling. So, it is known that cycling can help you improve your brain power. We will talk more about this in the following sections.
Here, let us take a look on some other mental health benefits of cycling which may probably keep you entertained for performing the sport every day.
Cycling Makes You Feel Happy:
It is known that cycling aids us in enhancing our mood. In a study carried out by the experts from Bowling Green State University, Ohio; it was found that just 10 minutes of cycling is enough to make an individual feel a little happier. Our body releases Serotonin or the happy hormones and endorphins in response to the neurotransmitters or the brain chemicals; while we exercise. These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body that is similar to that of morphine. Endorphins also act as a sedative and aid in diminishing the pain perception. Cycling is one of the best exercises known to release happy hormone.
Cycling is Beneficial in Relieving Anxiety and Stress:
Yet another mental health benefit of cycling is it helps in relieving anxiety and stress. Our stress hormone or cortisol gets reduced while cycling or exercising. Apart from this, BDNF or Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor is released when we exercise that helps in protecting our brain from stress. This helps in generating happiness and improving memory too.
Cycling Helps You in Improving Your Confidence:
Cycling also helps in improving self confidence. The serotonin mood neurotransmitter released while cycling aids in keeping us stable, socially and emotionally. It helps in enhancing positive feelings, self esteem and self confidence. Apart from this, cycling gets you in shape physically and it helps you in improving your confidence too.
Cycling is Beneficial for a Proper Sleep:
Usually exercise helps in improving good sleep. HGH or Human growth hormone is released by the brain in to our blood stream while our sleeping hours. This HGH is a part of the repair and restoration function of sleep in people whose working hours, or any other factors make it hard for them to have a normal sleep. It is found that sleep and exercises like cycling can induce the release of HGH; this in turn would help in having a proper sleep.
Cycling Keeps you Energized and Motivated:
Dopamine is an important feel-good neurotransmitter which is essential for us as it keeps us feeling energized and motivated. Cycling or endurance training can improve the activity of dopamine receptors in the brain and this in turn will keep us energized and motivated.
Cycling Helps in Preventing or Reducing Mental Health Disorders Like Depression:
One of the best benefits from cycling is that it helps in preventing or reducing depression. Cycling can be effective as psychotherapy or antidepressants for depression. However the exact mechanism is not yet clear. Cycling releases Dopamine and Serotinine hormone which may be playing a crucial part in the process. Doing 20 to 30 minutes of cycling everyday can be beneficial for people with depression.
Is Cycling Linked with the Brain Power?
Now, let us come to the point: “Is cycling linked with the brain power?” Exercise itself is known to improve memory and brain power. It aids in better oxygen and nutrient supply to the brain.
When we pedal, more nerve cells are compelled to fire or light up resulting in the creation of BDNF or brain derived neurotrophic factor and a compound known as Noggin, which promotes the formation of new brain cells. This in turn results in doubling or tripling the production of neurons, or we can say literally building our brain. By cycling, one can also release more of neurotransmitters for a better and faster functioning of the brain.
Now, such a kind of mental health benefit from cycling is more essential for elderly people because; as we grow with age, our brain shrinks and the connection weakens. Thus, by cycling one can restore and protect the brain. Adults or elderly ones who prefer cycling or exercising on regular basis are known to have sharper memory, better concentration and greater problem solving ability.
Mental Health Benefits of Cycling for Children: Enhancing Brain Power in Students!
Some specific studies have shown that cycling affects students greatly in enhancing their brain power. In the United States of America, about 3% to 5% of the children suffer from ADHD or attention deficit hyperactive disorder. A study showed that students with ADHD were greatly benefitted by cycling. Apart from this, various other studies also explained that students who were in to bicycle riding had better brain power. This suggests there is a clear connection between cycling and cognitive behaviours. Thus cycling is imperative for the cognitive development of children.
Now that we known about the various mental health benefits of cycling, about how important cycling can be for improving brain power in young children and adults; why not just come out of the room and pedal on your magic bike? Just 20 minutes of cycling every day can present you some real exciting benefits to your mind and the body too!