How cycling makes you smarter and happier

How cycling makes you smarter and happier

Cycling, whether stationary or dynamic, has a positive impact on the brain- its structure as well its functions. That’s why a regular spin of the pedals tones up your body and mind. Challenging and pleasure-giving outdoor rides can especially endow you with a smarter brain and a happier disposition in many ways.

Makes your thinking box grow

Two types of tissues, grey and white, make up your cerebral matter and both of them grow in size with consistent cranking.

The science behind this phenomenon is that, when you ride repeatedly, more of BDNF (brain-derived neutropic factor) and NOG (noggin), the growth proteins, are produced in your grey matter encouraging the creation of fresh cells therein.

In the case of white matter, too, there’s a better differentiation of synapses (the structure that allows nerve cells to signal each other) and an increase in volume.

Simply put, akin to the muscles in your body those in your brain too grow in strength and functionality as a result of frequent pedalling.

Enhances cerebral activity

Taking your bicycle out often helps your encephalon produce higher quantities of neurotransmitter chemicals (like phenyl ethylamine) which do the important job of carrying messages between nerve cells. When more of these messengers transmit the commands competently, communication inside your thinking box becomes effective and speedy, meaning, you’re able to think faster, understand better and remember more.

Often, bicycle-rides amount to the skilled traversing of uneven terrains by the continuous performance of complex actions - pedalling without losing balance, coordinating the movement of your legs, eyes and hands, steering to avoid obstacles - that make your brain alert and aware.

In a nutshell, the effect habitual riding has on your grey matter is much like the route of a long journey! - starting from sight, smell, speech, movement through concentration, cognition, memory up to thinking pattern, decision-making and problem-solving.

Alleviates stress

If you choose to reach your office by bike than by car, you literally steer clear of a major daily-stressor, the emotionally-draining busy-hour traffic because you ride at the edge of the road by a smaller vehicle that’s relatively easy to manoeuvre.

Cycle-rides not only avoid external stressors but also help keep the internal ones in check. Numerous studies have found that pedalling controls the release of adrenalin and cortisol during bothersome events. In other words, active bikers are able to resist the trigger of ‘fight or flight’ response to minor mishaps while couch potatoes aren’t.

Bicycling can reduce stress levels indirectly too. For example, by saddling up, you stimulate blood circulation to your skin, eliminate blemish-causing toxins and save yourself from bad-skin worries.

Thus, turning the cranks can rid you of anxiety in many ways provided, you engage in them on a continuous basis for not more than 60 minutes while keeping your heart rate at about 75% of max.

Keeps you high and away from gloom

Pedalling past the 30-minute mark causes your encephalon to produce happy hormones (like serotonin), thereby, doing a better job at keeping away low spirits than your anti-depressants.

When a group of friends hit the trail, riding becomes a great socializing exercise; one that promotes intimacy and strengthens bonds. Consequently, cycling buddies find it easier to open up their hearts to each other, meaning, there’s no longer any room for gloom!

In fact, bike- rides can do more than just keep you cheerful. They can make you experience a junkie’s high. Recent research has confirmed that cranking for the good part of an hour can induce the limbic region to produce anandamide, the bliss-giving messenger which makes joy course through your every vein.


Bicycling is a wonderful workout that makes you physically, mentally and emotionally robust. Joining a spin class and turning the wheels inside the four walls of a room is great. But nothing can equal the thrill of navigating through a bunch of obstacles in a natural setting. So, be smart enough to ride joyfully and ride enough to become smart and joyous!

At Ivanhoe bikes, we supply high-performance cycles at reasonable prices that assist you to make pedalling a habit. To buy yourself and your family many a cheap vacation to the picturesque locations of Melbourne, contact us today.

  Log in or Register to add your review

(2808) Comment(s)

Related Articles