Cycling for Wellbeing
Exercise has long been associated with increased wellbeing, physical and mental. What better time to remind ourselves to stay well than the World Suicide Prevention Day.
Combating stress and depression
Not only does exercising combat daily stresses, but it can help address other issues too triggered by stress. Physical activity reduces levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and many people use cycling to de-stress. This can further reduce feelings of depression, which often go hand-in-hand with unhealthy stress levels.
Cycling is a great opportunity to be in the ‘Here and Now’, it’s just you and the road. It creates a space for us to focus on our sensations and our surroundings, which can increase feelings of calmness and peace. It can also offer a break from our daily struggles and stresses, for which we might feel better prepared after exercising.
Physical activity increases our levels of endorphins, which reduce feelings of anxiety and increases positive feelings. Endorphins are our ‘feel good’ hormones and a bike ride can stimulate these and make us feel happier. These ‘feel good’ hormones coupled with increased strength and stamina that result from exercising can further boost our self-esteem.
A good social opportunity
Cycling can also be an opportunity to spend time with friends with similar interests. This can reduce feelings of isolation, which are common with anxiety and depression.
Cycling can offer benefits to our physical wellbeing too. It is good for our hearts (cardiovascular benefits), it increases our strength, stamina and energy, it improves agility and flexibility, can improve posture when done correctly, reduces fat levels and combats obesity, and helps prevent Type 2 diabetes, among others.
How can cycling help you today?