The Mind Body Connection of Biking 

by | May 11, 2023 | News

How cycling boosts mental wellness and bodily fitness.

As an experienced cyclist I can vouch for the fact that cycling is not just a physical activity but also a whole body and mind one. Cycling today requires a great deal of mental focus both on and off road.

However, its not just the physical challenges of cycling that makes it great for mental health but the therapeutic benefits that come with being out in the Lake District away from the stresses of every day life, communicating with nature in this national park.

Biking in all its many forms is an excellent way to improve your mental health, as it reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Research has proven that regular exercise, such as cycling boosts endorphins, the body’s “feel good natural chemicals”, which reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. The effect of the surrounding nature is an “add on” which again is proven to reduce stress and increase mental well -being. There‘s nothing like the feeling of freedom being out on a bike surrounded by fells, forests, lakes, fields, trees , fresh air and the sound of only your bike and baaing sheep.

Cycling requires a great deal of concentration and focus which is helpful in quieting the mind. When you are on the bike you need to be fully in the moment and totally aware of the surrounding environment. Your mind is constantly assessing the terrain, making split second decisions, adjust your position, speed, braking, and pedalling accordingly. This kind of total mindfulness helps you stay in the present totally focussed., which is a great way to alleviate anxiety and depression. 

Another way that cycling is great for mental health is the sense of accomplishment. Cycling round Coniston Water, a 20 mile loop provides just this for family cyclists. This is probably further than they ever envisaged, and especially achievable on electric hire bikes. Or perhaps a first time off road guided ride building on previous road rides. As these cycling tasters advance into expanding your cycling abilities longer rides beckon as your fitness and cycling ambitions blossom. 

This sense of progress and achievement is an inevitable boost to your self -esteem and confidence, which can only help alleviate any symptoms of depression.

Cycling is not only a solo sport but it can be a wonderful way to connect with others and make lasting friendships. Many cyclists join groups or clubs to ride together and share their newly found love of cycling. Others just relish the solo experience having time to themselves, each to their own. But being part of a cycling community can provide a sense of belonging and camaraderie which can be helpful in reducing the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

However, it’s important to remember that cycling can also be a dangerous sport, (as is any sport) and it’s important to take precautions to stay safe. Wearing a helmet and other protective visible gear, are as important as knowing your limits and abilities, and are crucial in avoiding injury. But wearing a helmet is not legally enforceable in the UK.

Overall, the mental and physical health benefits of cycling are so numerous. It’s a terrific way to get exercise, be out in the nature of the south Lake District National Park. Cycling definitely improves focus, concentration, self- esteem and confidence. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist wanting to hire a top road bike or a full suspension mountain bike, or a family hiring hybrid road bikes for a ‘pootle’ around the lakes. There is no denying the positive impact that a day’s cycling will have to your mental well-being and resilience.

So why not book a bike to hire and hit the trails or explore the Lakeland’s lanes, and experience this mindfulness for yourself? Your mind and body will thank you when you hire a bike from Lake District Bikes.

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