People often forget about their mental health. We all have it. Some struggle with ill mental health more than others, but we all have times where we can find a situation difficult. I am by no means an expert, and I consider myself to have relatively good mental heath, I’m simply writing this post based on my personal experiences.
When we think of health or fitness, we generally think of our physical health. How much we weigh, how we look, whether we can walk up two flights of stairs without losing our breath. I know some days I struggle with that and I consider myself reasonably fit. But one thing we seem to neglect is our mental health, our mental fitness.
The winter months can be tough, the nights are longer, days are shorter. It’s dark when you go to work, it’s dark when you return from work. That’s no fun. I touched, albeit briefly, on mental health in my last post about motivation. I mentioned that one thing that keeps my motivation up is my mental state. When I ride my bike, or after a quick training session, I feel so much better both mentally and physically.
I’m sure there are many benefits to cycling for your mental state but some of the ones I notice regularly are as follows.
Improves my mood
I’m so much happier after a ride. It could have been a terrible day, I could have a problem that I’m struggling to come up with a solution for. After a ride, my mind is clearer and I’m able to think through the issue, or I’m able to think past the tough times I faced throughout the day.
Reduces my stress levels
I never used to think I got stressed, I’m certainly a fairly laid-back person and try not to let things get to me. But sometimes, it all gets a bit much. It happens to everyone. Que the bike, I think I’ve even been told by my wife to just go on my bike for a bit. A quick ride and the mountain I’ve made out of a molehill suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.
I sleep better
This might just be because I’m tired, but I tend to find that I sleep so much better once I’ve gotten a few miles under my belt. I wake up feeling like I’ve had a proper nights sleep and feel refreshed in the morning. I’m sure there is a more scientific way to describe exactly what’s going on but, like I said, I’m no expert.
I’m fairly sure that there are many other benefits when it comes to cycling regularly and mental health, but the ones mentioned above are ones that I feel regularly. I’m not saying that all problems are solved after riding a bike. Wouldn’t that be fantastic? I’m saying it helps.
What do you guys do to keep your mental health in check?
Until next time.
OTHER POSTS LIKE THIS: