Mental Benefits of Bicycle Touring
It’s no secret that riding a bicycle regularly is a great way to build physical fitness. There are many ways a bicycle rider can train to meet specific fitness goals, whether it is building stamina and endurance or simply building strength and power in the legs. Training to go on tours is the next step up in terms of fitness but it brings other personal benefits beyond the physical. Psychologically, riding a bicycle and touring are incredibly beneficial. Various studies have pointed to positive results when it comes to biking and mental health. Let’s look at some general ways in which bicycle riding and touring positively impacts mental health.
One of the most immediate benefits of riding a bike regularly is that is an effective stress-buster. In keeping with general studies about exercise and its impact on mental health, riding is another form of aerobic exercise that greatly reduces daily stress. Touring is a bigger task than simply riding the bike as plenty of preparation and training goes into planning a tour. Planning a tour can take people’s minds off stressful factors going on in their lives and it gives them something else to think about.
Banish Depression and Anxiety
Riding a bike regularly releases chemicals such as endorphins, of which serotonin, the “happiness hormone” is a major boost to a good mood. Like running, cyclists experience a high (a “cyclist’s high”) and if people cycle regularly, they get healthy doses of these hormones. Depression and anxiety are kept at bay because the body and mind are receiving healthy signals.
Defender against age-related conditions and maladies
Riders that get older tend to do much better than their non-biking peers. Biking has been effective in slowing down the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and it helps a lot of with cognition and memory. Even if you aren’t an older biker, you can still get these benefits if you keep riding in the future.
Touring is more than riding
Planning and preparation for touring give people a sense of purpose and organization. Mentally, tourers are likely to be better prepared and organized for many things in life including shocking incidents and misfortune. Developing a focus and training toward a goal as intense as touring is especially effective at banishing mental problems. https://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/how-patients-are-using-cycling-to-slow-down-parkinson-s-917498947693
Finishing a big tour is extremely satisfying
A very important aspect of touring is completing the tour itself. The planning, preparation and investment that a touring rider makes into the tour is so that he or she can complete the tour successfully. Setting simple goals and achieving them is something that people suffering from depression are generally advised to do as the need to achieve a goal is a powerful affirmation of self-worth. Finishing a tour does wonders for self-confidence, self-belief and general self-esteem. It is an achievement that no one can take away from the rider.
Exercising outdoors is better for mental health than indoor aerobic exercise
There is absolutely nothing wrong with exercising indoors, in fact, everyone should exercise indoors and outdoors. However, there is something to be said about exercising outdoors and its impact on mood. Going outside and experiencing nature while riding a bike definitely has an impact of mood and it is known to have a calming effect on people.
Cycling helps fight insomnia
Insomnia and the lack of good sleep is a major problem when it comes to tackling mental illness. Touring cyclists have to practice hard daily and maintain and rigid regimen of training, resting, eating and sleeping. Just the high intensity exercise alone would enable most cyclists to sleep better since circadian rhythms (the body clock cycle) would respond to this and enable a more restful and timely sleep.
Training for Bike Touring Shows Physical Results
Looking better is a great way to feel better. Your body responds to intense training and looking better sure helps. People with body image and self-image issues would find bike touring to be very useful in slimming down and increasing stamina.
Get on your bike and set new goals for yourself today! Check out Vincita for all the tools, bags and accessories you need to ride comfortably. Whether it is just around the park or for a long or short tour, Vincita makes your ride more convenient.