10 Mental Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling has numerous benefits for the body, and it’s an often talked about subject. One of the benefits is that it’s easy on the knees. Cycling gives you the cardio workout you need minus the pressure on your cartilage. It’s also great for muscle strength, improved posture and better coordination.
But cycling presents much more benefits than just the physical kind. It’s also an excellent booster for your mental health. If you’re looking for more reasons to get on your bicycle, here are 10 to encourage you to explore life with a bike.
Experience feeling free on the road
Most cyclists hug the side of the road or lane when cycling. This is a good habit to practice because it ensures your safety while cycling. However, now and then, when you’re cycling, and you find yourself in a more spacious lane or road, take up space by riding in the middle of the road. It gives you a sense of control and power by making your presence known.
Boost your self-confidence
Some of us are not as extroverted or talkative. We tend to be quiet and not have much to say unless we’re familiar with people. Maybe you want to work on your interpersonal skills but don’t know how to start. You may encounter other cyclists, walkers, and joggers while riding on bike paths. Take the opportunity to say ‘Good morning’ or ‘passing on your right.’ Interact with people on your route. This can teach you to speak up a little louder and not feel so self-conscious, just by making small talk. It is a confidence booster.
Learn what your body can do
Doing something different can teach you many things about your body. It can teach you what your body can and cannot do. You’d be surprised with how much you can push your body to conquer a new mile each time you go cycling. As you continue cycling, you’ll be able to maintain your balance, ride without both hands on the bar and turn to look behind you without throwing your balance off.
If you feel tired when jogging or running, the only thing you can do is slow down your pace. But you’ll still have to continue moving. Sometimes, this can be a stress factor since slowing down will affect their running pace. However, with cycling, you can let the bicycle take on some heat by allowing the wheels to run on their own, especially on flat ground. It can make some people feel calmer and less stressed as you enjoy the breeze while sipping on your water.
It teaches you to take breaks
As you progress in your cycling, you’ll find yourself taking longer routes whenever you cycle. You’ll also learn that you can’t go without breaks. Any avid cyclist will tell you that breaks are essential in cycling. It’s part of why cycling is a favorite and popular cardio exercise. Cyclists form a group together and plan a route to cycle, going through forests and valleys, rivers and cities. You take a break at different points to enjoy the scenery, drink a sip of water, take a photograph of the sun setting. All of this teaches you that breaks are essential in life. You can recover and feel well to finish your route by taking breaks. You’ll feel like a champ, and the act of finishing is something exhilarating.
You learn to push through your comfort zone
One of the ways to push yourself outside your comfort zone is to set a new distance and ride to it. It may feel discomforting to leave your comfort zone, but it brings you so much of benefits when you do. As you begin on your route, you might think you’re unable to do it, but as you get closer and closer to your cycling goals, you’ll be filled with a rush of happiness and pride. You did it! You pushed yourself to go a little farther each time, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. When you begin pushing these limits, you also discover things about yourself and what you’re capable of doing. You’ll also learn that discomfort is part of the price and the road to a great life.
Dressing for cycling
When cycling, you need to dress for the ride. Wearing regular workout clothes such as leggings and a normal top may suit short rides. However, for longer rides, you need the proper clothing. Padded shorts and helmets are a must, and some Goodr cycling sunglasses to protect your eyes. It may look funny wearing padded shorts, but you’ll be thanking yourself for wearing them because if you don’t, you’ll be experiencing pain in your behind. Gloves help protect your hands from constant pressure, vibration and friction, thus reducing the chances of skin irritations and blisters forming. No matter how it looks at firsts, wearing the right gear makes all the difference between a rough ride and a comfortable ride.
It gives you focus
No matter where you go, you need to keep your eyes on where you are going. Focusing on your ride, on your environment, surrounding, and the road ahead is essential in ensuring you and no one else gets hurt. Your bicycle goes where you go, and this is how life is. You are the captain of your ship, so you need to focus on your desired destination. Don’t focus only on avoiding the obstacles but instead be wary of them. If you focus only on the challenges, chances are you’ll likely run into them. Life is a journey, and to be successful, you need to focus on where you want to go while being wary of the obstacles that come your way.
You’re not alone
When cycling, you will encounter many people along your routes, such as other cyclists, joggers and walkers. Everyone is out there trying to have the best life and enjoy the simple things in life. Sometimes you may feel the route you are on is too hard, but you see other people just as red-faced as you trying to go a little bit faster and a little bit farther. Mentally, it’s easy to think you’re the only one going through life’s hardships, but the truth is, everyone is on a different path, and everyone has their struggles.