Biking has always been seen as a recreational activity that is done on a nice spring day. People bike for many reasons, some for exercise, some competitively, some for recreation, and everyone for fun. But what about for anxiety, or as a means to sharpen your mind? Many people are unaware of the mental benefits that biking offers. For example, biking strengthens the structure of your brain physically and functionally! But is that the only health benefit biking offer?
According to Psychology Today, “People who bicycle for their health can often rattle off several good reasons: lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, managing their weight and reducing their risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, to name a few.” These added health benefits should encourage everyone to hop on a bike.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that is found in the brain, is the link between brain health and physical activity. When cycling, it has been found that the protein is almost doubled, which leads to a more productive and active brain processing. The protein also allows for the strengthening of other neurons inside the brain. For many disorders like depression, anxiety, or even stress it’s common for doctors to point you to the nearest antibiotic. However, a study conducted by The Bio Psychosocial Medicine found that 15 minutes on a stationary bike significantly reduced cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Imagine if you biked for 30 minutes? The benefits of biking are endless and as the weather breaks, its time to bust out the bikes and embark on this healthy journey. Still not convinced you should bike more? Well on top of improving your brain functionality, it also is a way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Cycling is low maintenance, easy to do task that offers many important health benefits.
The weather is clearing up, allowing for longer and more enjoyable rides. So, if you haven't pulled out your bike yet, let this be the start of a beautiful relationship that keeps giving as long as you put in the effort.
College Of Media