Biking Your Way to Brain Health
After a long and cold winter for many of us, it’s about time spring weather has arrived! With spring weather, comes spring activities. So, what’s an activity that you should go out and do this weekend? How about hopping on your bike! Not only is biking just flat out fun, there are also many brain health and physical benefits of riding a bike. Here are the three best benefits of biking and an essential safety tip:
- Mood Boost
- Stress Release
- Exercising Outdoors
- Safety Tips
4 Ways Biking Benefits Brain Health
- Mood Boost. Ask anyone after a bike ride how they feel, and chances are, they will be in a great mood! You don’t have to make your bike ride an all-day event, either. A simple half hour of bike riding can be enough to improve a person’s mood and well-being. Biking is one of the easiest ways to get extra activity into your day. Try to swap out even just one car trip per week with your bike. A quick trip to the store or your afternoon pick-me-up coffee can be done by bike. When your body is in motion, the brain will benefit!
- Stress Release. You might have heard by now that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Now, just how does exercise help to reduce stress? When you exercise, you will release endorphins, the feel-good chemical in your brain. The releasing of endorphins goes hand-in-hand with the mood boost you get. The increase in mood leads to a decrease in stress levels. So, go on, get outside, and bike on – you may surprise yourself with how relaxed you become.
- Exercising Outdoors. Sure, you can go to your gym, hop on the stationary bike, and get plenty of benefits, but nothing compares to exercising outside. Studies have shown that exercising outside may have a greater positive effect on brain health than going to the gym. Outdoor exercise has been shown to improve attention and focus, motivate you to keep exercising, and the fresh air can give you more energy. Another bonus? Exercise may even feel easier when you are outside! Science suggests that people who have exercised outside had more positive moods and felt less strained. Your brain and body will thank you after a bike ride outside.
- Safety Tips. It’s incredibly important to follow certain safety tips when riding a bike. First things first, make sure you have a stable bike. Bike frames with wider tires have added protection and will reduce your risk of falling. Another tip? Bike in a pack. Ride with a friend, family member, or cycling group. If something were to happen, you will have peace of mind knowing you have others around to help. An obvious tip: Wear a helmet – especially if you are riding in traffic or on a trail! This is one of the most simple, yet most effective ways to protect yourself. Remember, you only get one brain – protect it! Finally, stay hydrated. Bring at least one bottle of water. Before you start your bike ride, follow these safety tips. One can never be too knowledgeable when it comes to safety!
This weekend, make it a point to get outside on your bike. Start small on your bike ride, if you need to, and work your way up! We promise, your brain and body will greatly benefit!