Cycling and mental health



  • MrsR
    MrsR Posts: 81
    navrig2 said:

    Cycling is great at assisting with positive mental wellbeing on several fronts some of which cannot be easily achieved through other exercise.

    The obvious benefit is the release of the beneficial chemicals which result from physical exertion.

    Beyond this cycling offers, for me, the following:

    Social interaction in an environment which cannot, usually, be interrupted. A group on a cycle will pair up, phones are in pockets and you are not at work. The pairing moves around so you can chat to all your buddies. When not pushing hard conversation is easy.

    Social rides tend to be long (several hours) so when you are not paired up you can be stretching your physical limits whilst sorting life clutter within your head. This may not always be immediately positive if you are over thinking about work or relationships but often it brings benefits because the thoughts are, again, uninterrupted.

    Social rides regularly take on a competitive edge meaning you are tested physically and are challenged to try harder. Rewards may be faster segments (Strava chasers), longer distances or easier riding for the same distance etc. All good for the head.

    The cake stop allows further socialising stuff with limited interruption and, depending on the group, bonding with friends.

    The downside is when you don't keep on top of it and become disenfranchised. Fitness wains and you don't keep up resulting in a downward spiral. I've been there and had to be rescued art way through a long ride. At that point professional/medical help was sought. Never again, I hope.

    Sometimes you have to plunge to the depths to know where your limits are @navrig2

    That is a great description of all that cycling offers for wellbeing.