Cycling can improve both physical and mental health, and can reduce the chances of experiencing many health problems.
Cardiovascular diseases include stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack. Regular cycling stimulates and improves heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cycling strengthens heart muscles, lowers resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels.
• Cycling pumps blood around your body at a greater rate which allows for the rapid spread of endorphins and other good substances like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.
Dopamine is a chemical found naturally in the human body. It is a neurotransmitter, meaning it sends signals from the body to the brain.
Dopamine plays a part in controlling the movements a person makes, as well as their emotional responses. The right balance of dopamine is vital for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Vital brain functions that affect mood, sleep, memory, learning, concentration, and motor control are influenced by the levels of dopamine in a person’s body. A dopamine deficiency may be related to certain medical conditions, including depression and Parkinson’s disease.
A dopamine deficiency can be due to a drop in the amount of dopamine made by the body or a problem with the receptors in the brain.
Some signs and symptoms of conditions related to a dopamine deficiency include:
• muscle cramps, spasms, or tremors
• aches and pains
• stiffness in the muscles
• loss of balance
• difficulty eating and swallowing
• weight loss or weight gain
• gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
• frequent pneumonia
• trouble sleeping or disturbed sleep
• low energy
• an inability to focus
• moving or speaking more slowly than usual
• feeling fatigued
• feeling demotivated
• feeling inexplicably sad or tearful
• mood swings
• feeling hopeless
• having low self-esteem
• feeling guilt-ridden
• feeling anxious
• suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm
• low sex drive
• lack of insight or self-awareness
• Cycling promotes positive mental health. Self-Esteem, depression, anxiety and stress are all positively affected through exercise, but the nature of cycling has been shown to be one of the most effective activities for the head and heart.
The health benefits of regular cycling include:
• increased cardiovascular fitness
• increased muscle strength and flexibility
• improved joint mobility
• decreased stress levels
• improved posture and coordination
• strengthened bones
• decreased body fat levels
• prevention or management of disease
• reduced anxiety and depression.