Why Cycling is a Brain Developing Activity
Any individual with a keen interest in their health understands the importance of exercising. Cycling is considered to be a very healthy form of aerobic exercise, this is common knowledge, but did you know that cycling can improve your brain health? When you cycle long distances and experience a sudden clarity along with an electrifying mood, that’s precisely when you have already had a taste of the benefits of cycling in your mental health. Cycling daily sure does keep you fit. Additionally, this activity also helps improve your mental state. You will see an elevation in your ability to remember and retain things, plan things more efficiently and even with your reasoning. Depression, anxiety and mood swings are other problems that can be easily tackled with cycling.
What Happens When You Cycle
It is a known fact that exercising your muscles help in their growth, in the same way, the brain tends to grow when you indulge in cycling. The flow of blood to the muscles double when you cycle, similarly, the blood flow to the brain also increases, thereby improving the oxygen entry along with required nutrients. The constant peddling light up the neurons of the brain which in turn increase the production of the proteins needed to form new brain cells. This way the nerve cells double up and increase in number, in a way growing your brain.
Cycling Changes The Way We Think
Regardless of a person’s age or physical health, they can reap the privileges of cycling, especially mental benefits. It works on a psychological level, thereby improving a person’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Experiments have even found that cycling has been able to improve the condition of individuals suffering from depression and mental illness. You can also use cycling as a preventive therapy and it works long term.
Improvement in mood, reduction of anxiety and increased stress can be adequately handled by using cycling as a therapy. The release of “the happy hormones“, namely serotonin and dopamine are the primary cause for these positive mental changes. Cycling helps in releasing these feel-good hormones including endorphins and cannabinoids too.
Finding the Sweet Spot
Now that you know about the effects of cycling on your mental health, can you go about with it for hours in the hope of reaping the most? Well, the answer is, not really. More is not always right. Though cycling is good for you, too much of it will drain you of all your energy and leave you exhausted. This can lead to nutrient depletion. It is therefore considered safe to include an average of around 30 to 60 minutes of steady riding , without high-intensity training in a day, for good results.
Once you go past the 30-minute mark is when the chemicals start kicking in. Hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are kept in their place when riding your bike which causes stress levels to go down. This plays a significant role in bringing down anxiety levels too. Make note though, it is true that cycling is great for you, but it takes some time for the idle body to get used to the exercise. You may not see instant results if you have been a couch potato for a long time. Give yourself time. As you get fitter, you will most definitely be surprised by the results.