There are volumes written linking the benefits of cycling with mental health and great stories. From Leigh Timmis who rode around the world in 7 years, initially fighting depression but now a motivational speaker to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Below we’ve pulled out 4 benefits which can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing.
Cycling promotes mindfulness, where you focus on the sensations of the present moment instead of being caught up in racing thoughts. You don’t have to think about anything except balancing the bike, pushing the pedals, feeling the breeze, and so on.
Exercise which you enjoy boosts your mood, and can ease the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Regular exercise (three or more times per week) is also widely thought to reduce the risk of becoming depressed.
Aerobic exercise can reduce your levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’. Any cyclist will recognise the reduction in tension that a bike ride brings, and how well they sleep after a good ride out.
Exercise can make you feel more positive. As well as watching yourself becoming fitter and physically stronger, the camaraderie of riding in a regular group pushing new challenges that outside your normal comfort zone is a real benefit.