It’s widely accepted that any form of exercise is good for your mental health. But cycling has to be one of the best ways to feel better about yourself because, primarily, it is so much fun. The sheer enjoyment of riding, be it on the ever-expanding cycle path network throughout Christchurch and the rest of the country, or on the roads with a more competitive and serious group, will just put you in a more positive mood from the start. It’s what regular cyclists call the “cycling high”, similar to the better-known “runner’s high”. The difference is, cycling pumps blood around your body at a greater rate which promotes the rapid distribution of endorphins and other feel-good substances like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin throughout the body. If that’s not enough to make you contact us and book a bike service in Christchurch, then maybe these other benefits will convince you.
- Cycling has been shown to be one of the best forms of exercise to boost self-esteem, and manage depression, anxiety and stress.
- Regular riding can assist in synchronising your circadian rhythm which can reduce the levels of stress hormones that make proper regenerative, deep sleep difficult. A lack of sleep is often linked to feeling irritable, tired and “down”
- Riding your bike more often will build new brain cells that are responsible for memory.
- The uniform movement of cycling relaxes the brain and can stabilize both mental and physical function.
- Cycling is a great way to “zone out,” and is considered by many riders to be a form of meditation. If you concentrate on each movement of your legs, the rhythm of your breathing, or the wind on your face, you’ll be amazed how quickly your mind clears.
- Cycling increases blood flow more effectively than most other forms of exercise, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the brain that can improve its performance.
- Research suggests that riding on a regular basis increases the production of proteins used for creating new brain cells by two or three times the norm!
- Cycling has been shown to slow down the decline of brain function as we age.
- Cycling is great for staying connected with others, and this too is important in feeling good about ourselves. The social act of riding with a group of like-minded people has significant psychological benefits because of this.
So now you know the benefits, how often do you have to ride to take maximum advantage? Scientists suggest that 30-60 minutes of steady riding for three to five sessions a week at a solid pace is ideal. Maintaining a heart rate at roughly 75% of our maximum is also a good idea. But before you do all that, you need to ensure your bike is in excellent shape so check out our range of service options and book yours in.