Pedal to Happiness- Mental and Emotional Benefits of Cycling
There have been various studies that prove cycling is great for your health. There are also an incredible number of mental and emotional benefits, including reduced stress, better sleep, more energy and more self-confidence.
Pedal to Happiness- Mental and Emotional Benefits of Cycling
By Lisa Brooke /

You already know that cycling has a multitude of health benefits. It burns calories, helping you to lose weight. It strengthens and tones muscles, making you stronger. It's great for your heart, reducing your risk for heart disease and high cholesterol. Did you know that cycling is also great for your mind? There are several studies proving that cycling provides mental and emotional benefits, making this exercise a true whole body workout.
Safety First
Before you even hop on your bike, it's crucial that you don the proper safety equipment in order to fully reap all of cycling's benefits. You won't be feeling too happy if you experience a fall that leaves you scraped up and bruised, if not worse. Choose your cycle wear based on the type of riding you plan on doing. The right bike wear will help you stay safe, and therefore happy:

  • Helmets: Cycle helmets are the most commonly used pieces of safety equipment and the bare minimum of what you should wear. A bike helmet keeps you safe, protecting your head and brain from potential injury.
  • Chest armor: Unlike the heavy metal armor that most likely comes to mind with these words, biking armor is lightweight and designed to give you complete freedom of movement.
  • Elbow, shin and knee pads. For extra protection of vulnerable areas.
  • Gloves. Not only do gloves keep your hands protected from potential road rash, they can protect them from the weather and provide cushion against vibrations, preventing your hands and arms from going numb during long or particularly bumpy rides.
  • Cycling glasses or goggles. These not only block harmful UV rays, they also protect your eyes from flying dirt and debris.

Reduce Stress
One of the first mental benefits of riding is that it is proven to reduce stress. Getting on a bike and pedaling away takes you out of a stressful situation, allowing you to clear your mind. You are concentrating on other things, like the scenery around you, rather than stewing over what is creating the stress, such as a project at work.

When you ride a bike, you are in complete control of the situation, rather than the situation controlling you (which is often a major source of stress, feeling as though you are completely out of control). You choose the directions. You get to decide how fast or how leisurely you ride.

Cycling is also one of those activities you've probably done since childhood, so therefore it often brings up those memories. When life was stress-free. Remembering those carefree days can also help with stress reduction.

Sleep Better
Cycling is one of those activities that helps you sleep better. While part of this is due to the fact that you are exercising, a lot of it has to do with the fact that you are outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Natural light helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, or your internal clock. The light tells you it's time to be up and be active, so since you are doing so, when it's dark and your body tells you it's time to sleep, you can actually sleep. This is one of the many benefits of riding outside in the indoor vs. outdoor cycling debate.

More Energy
It's been proven time and time again that regular exercise gives you more energy. It improves both your heart muscle and your overall circulation, which in turn increase your energy levels. It also doesn't hurt that since you're most likely sleeping better, you'll have more energy during the day as well.

Look Better, Feel Better
Cycling also can also make you feel good. Physical activity releases endorphins, a hormone that naturally makes you feel this way. So, if you ever find yourself in a sour mood, hopping on your bike and pedaling around the block can do a lot to improve your outlook.

As you ride consistently, you also achieve the health benefits of losing weight and slimming down. You have probably come to like the new shape that biking has given you. As a result of enjoying your new appearance, chances are you feel better about yourself and therefore have a higher self-esteem.

Quality Family Time
Looking for a way to increase family time? Cycling is a great way to do just that. And there's the added bonus of getting everyone outside into nature and away from their electronic devices, which have seemed to dominate so much of children's time in the past few years.

Cycling is one of those things that everyone can take part in. Grab your family and hit the pavement!

  • Have small children that are about the age they can start learning? Help them pick out a new bike with training wheels and ride along beside them.
  • Sporting some really young ones? Bike manufacturers have created special carts that you can attach to your bike, allowing you to tote your little ones around in, giving them a chance to catch the breeze in their faces.
  • Grandparents can take part too. Biking is a low impact activity, meaning that it's easy on the knees.

Cycling is an excellent activity to improve not just physical health, but mental and emotional health as well. Don't waste another minute. Get out there and pedal yourself to a happier state of being!


0.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 11,345 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 10,760 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 5,749 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 4,556 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 2,229 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 2,225 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 2,083 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 1,713 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 1,593 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,301 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 1,235 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
Mark Corske's Engines of Domination (2014)
60 min · 1,019 views today · Political power -- armed central authority, with states and war -- is it part of human nature? Is it necessary for human communities? Or is it a tool that ruling elites use to...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 877 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 758 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 754 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 721 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Eckhart Tolle: Your Facebook Ego, That's Not Who You Are
2 min · 389 views today · “Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past: the "little me" and its story. This...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 385 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
The Untold History of Palestine & Israel
22 min · 339 views today · Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 335 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Pedal to Happiness- Mental and Emotional Benefits of Cycling