5 good reasons why biking contributes to wellness

Bike Culture & Tips

5 good reasons why biking contributes to wellness
June 2018

Cycling means moving, and this constitutes a benefit for the entire body: it activates the metabolism, it tones muscle tissues, burns excess fat and much more.
So far, nothing new.

However, what is often underestimated is the positive effects a good ride has on the mind and on the psyche. Objectively, good physical shape is not of much value without good mental well-being.

Bike riding offers so many psychological benefits. Here are a few of them:

1) Biking causes less stress than driving
According to research by Hewlett-Packard, the heartrate of a driver stuck in traffic can rise 145 beats per minute during rush hour; that’s more than double the average rate of an average healthy adult. Drivers’ stress levels are higher than those of fighter pilots or the police. What’s more, motorists tend to feel impotent due to the long queues that force them to remain motionless and with no way out, sometimes for hours.

2) Biking is conducive to sleep
A study by researchers at the Stanford University Department of Medicine found that cycling for 20/30 minutes per day helps us sleep better. Regular activity of this kind helps people suffering from insomnia to fall asleep in half the time and sleep one hour more. Professor Jim Horne of the Clinical Sleep Research Unit at the University of Loughborough explains that the sunlight we are exposed to when we go biking helps regulate our daily biological rhythms and reduces cortisol levels in the body, thereby promoting sleep.

3) Biking is good for the memory
The University of Illinois conducted an experiment on a group of cyclists who increased their cycling exercise by just 5%. The results showed a 15% improvement in their performance on mental tests. This means that physical activity stimulated the generation of new cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory.

4) Biking puts us in a good mood
Thanks to the energy we consume while cycling, the brain produces substances like endorphins, which improve our mood. Plus, regular bicycle use improves our physical well-being and therefore self-esteem; we feel more attractive and in better shape, so we are more inclined to accept and like ourselves, and relate better with others.

5) Biking makes us more productive
Recent studies at the University of North Carolina show that people who bike for at least half an hour a day not only reduce their risk of illness with respect to people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, but they also have a clearer and more responsive mind both at home and at work.
This is in part because cyclists often adapt their behaviour to the situations they face on two wheels (e.g. sudden rain, rising temperatures, ice on the road) and learn how to manage them in a very short time.

The data highlight how biking can truly help us achieve an optimum level of both physical and mental well-being.
In short, biking helps us to improve lifestyle, in every way!

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