cycling mental health

Why cycling is good for your mental health

Cycling is incredibly good for both our mental and physical health. It brings people together and leverages an opportunity to discuss the way we are feeling in a safe and friendly environment. Whether it is a social cafe ride where people get to chat during the ride or over a cuppa or a race which brings people together for the same goal.

Cycling has great powers to lighten what can seem like dark and lonely times for people. It is a great opportunity to open up to others during the hours spent riding next to each other. The fact that our eyes are either on the road in front or hidden behind sunglasses makes talking more comfortable for many of us. Being parallel rather than opposite someone removes that “counselling” feeling which can feel intense.

When it comes to mental health statistics 1 in 6 working-age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health at any one time. Whilst this is fairly evenly split across genders when it comes to suicide a staggering 75% globally are men. Which means men need more support to prevent them from bottling things up because they are less willing to be open and share feelings. Despite a growth in the number of women taking up cycling it does remain a predominantly male sport which means it’s a fantastic sport whereby we can all open up about our feelings.

“The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand”

5 Ways Cycling Can Help Improve Your Mental Heath

  1. Exercise reduces anxiety – A study has proven to significantly reduce the feeling of anxiety and preventing this from developing into full-blown panic attacks.
  2. Can be a distraction to reduce excessive drinking/eating – Being sat at home can cause boredom which leads to eating and drinking more than you normally would. Instead of arranging to meet your mates at the pub why not go out for a ride instead. You will appreciate it when out and also afterwards and even the following day.
  3. Can be social – In normal circumstances you can ride in a group which can give you a sense of purpose and belonging within a community.
  4. It gets you outside – It has been proven that being outside leaves you feeling revitalised, energised and optimistic.
  5. Weight loss – This is a win-win that will compound over time. Cycling if done correctly can help you lose weight which in turn will give you feel-good factor.

Hopefully reading this you will realise you are not alone and we all suffer one way or another. We are all in this together so lets support each other.

“It’s o.k not to be o.k”

If you need any help then I am always available, reach out however you find it the easiest to talk. I am on about every platform out there!

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

The Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide. They operate throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

To speak with someone immediately, contact Samaritans on 116 123

If life is in danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services.

James Walsgrove

My cycling career started in 2005 when I purchased my first road bike and I was immediately hooked. Since then I have completed numerous cycling challenges including Ironman, Lands’ End to John O Groats, Mt Ventoux (all 3 ascents), London to Paris, the BBAR challenge which included a 12hour TimeTrial and more recently the Mallorca 312.

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