Cycling is good for mental health. In fact, it is attributed to a general boost in health, and it is considered as a physical workout that can prolong our lifespan.
With the pandemic forcing us to rethink almost everything that we do, there has been a 53 percent increase in the number of commuters who are cycling to work. Also, 75 percent of people living and working in London are looking for alternatives to public transport.
The government is also ardent at promoting the health of its people. To this effect, 250 million pounds has been set aside to upgrade roads and establish pop-up bike lanes in favour of cyclists.
Think about this. Those who commute on bicycles have a 41 percent reduced risk of death. Aside from that, cyclists burn over 800 calories by opting to ride for just over one hour. Their decision goes well with keeping fit.
Research found that bike commuters can weigh up to 5 kg less than their counterparts who drive or use other motorised form of transport. What does this imply? It is the same as eliminating 4 to 5 bags of sugar in form of body mass!
How does cycling improve our mental health?
First, it’s easy – unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
Then, cycling is a fun way to get fit. It is no secret that most people can’t squeeze in time to exercise due to their crammed schedules. By choosing to cycle to work, you gift yourself a perfect excuse to add up the number of hours spent while exercising, all while not affecting you clock-in time at your place of work.
Cycling is an efficient way of keeping your mind healthy. Your mental health is improved because all along, you are engaging with your community and the environment in a positive way.
According to a survey conducted by Cycleplan, up to 75 percent of the total riders who participated in the survey agreed that they felt better whenever they took up cycling. They reported that they were more relaxed but also focused at the same time.
There is some uniqueness in the whole exercise. Commuting via a bicycle works in sort of a magical way. When you cycle, you give your body the kind of workout that it would get in a regular daily session at a conventional gym. This is a research-backed finding that goes further to explain that continuous bike workouts could reduce our risk of dying early by between 16 and 30 percent.
If you ride both ways, you will have executed twice the required dose of your exercise.
What does a double day entail?
During a double day, your legs get a workout early in the morning. As you get busy at work, they get to rest, then you will use the leg muscles once more in the evening as you head back home. This means that your body starts to adapt to the routine. The process triggers your cells to increase the activity of mitochondrial enzymes, enabling your body to burn more calories.
Improved mental health means that you get to sleep better
The circadian rhythm of a rider is synced on a regular basis. The physical activity also helps contain the cortisol hormone which is attributed to stress as it prevents us from falling into deep, regenerative sleep. Generally cycling will improve your sleep cycle, an important determinant of our mental health.