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The Happiness Cycle

03 October 2022

Cycling to work increases happiness.
Here’s 4 unexpected reasons why.

 

Cycling to work is great for so many reasons. Let’s forget about the obvious benefits like our reduced carbon footprint to help save the environment, or the ever-popular petrol bypass that helps us keep our cash in our wallets. Instead, here are five unexpected reasons why cycling to work increases levels of happiness:

 

1. Goodbye, gridlock.

Soaring past a line of unmoving traffic is a wondrous feeling – just ask any cyclist. Well, obviously no-one enjoys sitting in gridlock – but did you know that traffic can actually be bad for your health? Studies have shown that sitting in slow-moving, unpredictable traffic can increase motorists’ feelings of frustration and anxiety, which can then raise their stress levels and blood pressure, putting them at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Yikes.

 

2. Improved brain function.

Lacking ideas? Stuck in a creative-thinking rut? Studies have shown that exercise promotes brain function. All the extra blood that gets pumped around our bodies when we go for a cycle helps to bathe our brain cells in oxygen and glucose, which they need to function properly. The more they get, the better they perform. So, cycling to work means we’re more likely to arrive with a sharp-as-a-tack, problem-solving brain! Other studies also suggest that the act of quickly navigating tricky terrain or bumpy sections of road can stimulate the part of the brain responsible for decision-making. Now, who wouldn’t benefit from some improved problem-solving skills?

 

 

3. Sleep well, look well.

According to some research, the process of cycling can help to flush out toxins from our bodies and deliver oxygen and nutrients to our skin cells, keeping our skin young and supple-looking. Also, the small amount of sunshine we absorb while cycling can help to promote our body’s vitamin D production, which encourages deep, regenerative sleep. Clear skin and a restful night’s sleep? No wonder cyclists are so happy!

 

And lastly…

 

4. From bike to bed.

Cycling regularly helps to improve stamina and heart strength, which arguably helps you to ‘perform’ better in the (wink wink, nudge nudge) sack. Now, who wouldn’t be happy with that?!

 

 

By Hannah Begg

Enjoyed reading this? Check out Changing the Morning Commute: How to Bike to Work.

 

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