Five Ways Motorcycling Can Improve Mental Health
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one adult in every six has a common mental disorder, such as anxiety and depression. There are many activities which people might take part in to help with their mental health, such as meditation, listening to music and yoga - however motorcycling is not one which commonly springs to mind.
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In a recent survey of 1,000 motorcyclists by Asda Money, motorcycle riders were asked why they started their hobby, and some riders explained that it had helped them to cope with their anxiety and depression.
The top reasons for enjoying motorcycling, as revealed by the new research, were enjoying a sense of freedom (59%), the thrill of riding a bike (40%) and the ability to travel (34%).
In this article we have explored five ways that riding a motorbike can improve your mental health.
Brighten your mood
There are scientific reasons behind why motorcycling can bring happiness to riders and brighten up your mood. It has been discovered that riding a motorbike can release both dopamine and endorphin hormones, which when increased in our bodies, make us feel happier. These ‘feel good’ hormones, as they are often referred to, increase feelings of pleasure, and lessen pain.
Disconnect from technology
Riding a motorbike can be a great way to disconnect from the online world. You can’t scroll through social media or reply to that text you’ve been putting off whilst you’re riding, therefore it’s a great escape from all those things that can cloud your brain in daily life. With this lack of social connectivity and distractions, you can be fully absorbed in what you’re experiencing on your motorbike.
Enjoy the fresh air
Due to the nature of motorcycling being an outside hobby, riders can enjoy plenty of time in the great outdoors. Being outside has been proven, time and time again, to improve our mental health. The fresh air can stimulate our senses and studies have shown that even by looking at trees, an activity coined as ‘tree bathing’, we can feel calmer and reduce our levels of stress.
Meet new people
Motorcycling is a great hobby to start to help you meet people and make new friends, with UK bikers having on average 23 biker friends. The biker community is considered extremely friendly, with bikers sharing tables and small talk at roadside cafes, to nods and waves as they pass each other. There are also many motorcycle clubs, which hold social events for their members. Attending these events can help reduce feelings of anxiety and make you feel as though you are part of larger support network.
Improve your physical health
It’s a well known fact that by taking care of your physical health, you in turn also take care of your mental health, and motorcycling is no exception to this. Motorcycling is an excellent form of exercise, as it’s a great way to strengthen your legs and core. The heavy helmet you wear not only keeps you safe, but also helps to train the muscles in your neck.
Leon Haslam, British Motorcycle road racer commented:
photo by Unsplash
“It’s great that motorcycling can offer an escape for many people, whether it be from everyday life problems, stress or potential mental issues. The focus required from motorcycling is such that all other issues are forgotten and even if that is for a short period of time it could be invaluable. Obviously racing is the ultimate distraction for me but climbing aboard a racing motorcycle in the pitlane has that same feeling as if I’m jumping on a road bike or my trials bike.”
Make sure, if you’re riding a motorbike, to not only protect your mental health, but to also protect your bike with an insurance policy that covers all your biking needs. Asda Money offers a price guarantee* and multiple levels of cover, compare quotes online by visiting the website here. https://money.asda.com/insurance/motorbike-insurance/
*This offer is to beat your cheapest, like for like, online motorbike insurance quote and the guarantee applies to the basic policy price only. As a web provider this offer excludes telephone quotations. This offer only applies to permanent residents in the UK. Proof and validation of alternate quotes may be required before the guarantee is honoured.