Just in case you needed yet one more reason to bike, researchers have found that cycling promotes happiness. Want to beat the blues and burst through the doldrums of life? Take up cycling! Studies have shown that individuals who bicycle regularly report higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. These happiness levels stretch far beyond time on the bike, too!
Cycling Promotes Happiness in Several Key Ways
- Cyclists engage in regular physical activity, which promotes general health and well-being. This is a no-brainer! If you are biking, you are active. We know that exercise produces dopamine which can produce a natural high. Also, individuals who exercise regularly are healthier overall- both physically and mentally. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics published a study that indicates that biking lowers fatigue by as much as 65 percent and boosts energy levels up to 20 percent.
- Cycling helps you sleep. Having trouble getting your zzz’s? Cycling can help there, too! Studies have shown that cycling just 20 minutes a day cuts the time required to fall asleep in half. Further, regular exercise helps eliminate sleep abnormalities and promotes a steadier, healthier sleep. Rides in the sunlight promote vitamin D production in the body. A study by Zayed University’s College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities shows that vitamin D leads to a better overall mood.
- Cyclists minimize pollutants. We all know that cycling is great because it doesn’t produce carbon or fuel emissions, but did you know that cyclists actually inhale fewer pollutants? A study by the Imperial College of London indicates that cyclists are exposed to 80 percent fewer pollutants than their vehicle-travelling counterparts.
- Cycling strengthens the brain! Worried about the effects of aging on your mind? Turns out that cycling can have a positive impact here, too. Individuals who bike regularly perform higher on mental tests than their sedentary peers. Researchers believe this may be due, in part, to the fact that exercise can stimulate the hippocampus to produce new cells. Although studies in this area are ongoing, some researchers believe that such exercise could help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Cycling helps you live longer. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Biking just 20 miles a week can reduce your risk of heart disease to about half that of a sedentary individual. This means a lower rate of death from heart disease. It also means a higher quality of life, as your heart is more adept at handling the challenges of day to day stresses.
- Cycling can be social. Sure, you can go cycling alone, but you can also bike with friends. Many cyclists participate in group cycling activities and rides with friends and loved ones.
- Cycling allows you to achieve goals. We know that we get a positive boost in our emotions when we reach a new fitness milestone. Whether you completed your regular route in record time or just bested your longest distance, achieving personal goals has been shown to promote happiness levels.
Even if you ride simply for fitness or the love of the sport, you cannot deny the power of cycling! Cycling promotes happiness in all the ways listed above, but also in so many more. If you know of someone who is struggling or going through a difficult time, perhaps suggest that they give cycling a try. It may work wonders!
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At Kass & Moses, we are bikers who are dedicated to promoting cycling within the community. Our bicycle accident law firm represents individuals injured in cycling accidents throughout the United States. We also provide trainings and instruction in cycling safety and techniques. Our team believes strongly that cycling promotes happiness!