Cycling makes you happier. Why?
1) The Dopamine Boost to Increase Happiness
A study by the YMCA shows: exercise makes you happier, that people with a physically active lifestyle have a wellbeing score of 32% higher than those with inactive lifestyles. (Download the report on their site)
Scientifically, the brain releases the happiness chemical, dopamine in the brain whenever you exercise. Thus your happiness and wellbeing levels are boosted. This boost however, is temporary – as you might have heard the old adage that “happiness is transient”. Therefore, you need to cycle again, and again, and again on a regular basis. It’s just like eating your favorite food or any much-loved activity you indulge in, really.
A happier lifestyle leads – automatically – to healthier relationships with people around you.
Tell me if you don’t feel joyful pushing the pedals on your bike as you conquer the streets near your house. Don’t talk about the Bukit Timah or Pulau Ubin trails.
2) Cycling Reduces Your Stress Level
As Singapore progresses from first world into hyper-first world, many of us report being burnt out at work. The hours you’re stuck in office get longer, work is brought home and you’ve less time for yourself to truly let out a deep breath. Stress can be good in small amounts (it propels you from laziness into action). But too much and over prolonged periods, it becomes a negative force you yearn an escape from.
According to Singapore companies here, employees’ stress remains the top health issue concerning them. A survey findings release on April 21, 2016 by advisory firm Willis Towers Watson shows the following:
“Some 56 per cent of employers said stress was an issue for their workers to a great extent. This was followed by 52 per cent for lack of physical activity, 32 per cent for lack of sleep, and 24 per cent for obesity. This reflected Singapore’s high-pressure working environment, said Willis Towers Watson.”
After a long day at work, if you’ve reached home around 8 or 9pm, why not jump on your bike with a lamp and go on a tour around the neighborhood for half an hour? Although the sofa looks inviting after a hard day’s slog, these nightly rides are one of the reasons I am happier now in life.
3) Cycling Improves Your Sex Drive
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to break taboo here or be obscene. But it’s official: cycling improves your sex life by ramping up your sex drive. Logically speaking, you’re happier, more excitable and energetic after a hectic bout of cycling. Scientifically, the hormone serotonin gets released into your blood stream. Serotonin affects mood levels, social behavior, appetite and digestion, memory and sleep, but most of all, sexual desire and function.
A study found out that 66 percent of respondents said their relationships improved after they started cycling, and 39 percent said it gave them extra energy in the bedroom. This is due to the higher level of serotonin present in the body after you cycle.
Also, it goes unsaid that you’re using your thigh muscles a lot when you cycle – one of those core muscle groups that is used in the – ‘scuse me – bedroom “bump and grind”. Besides having bulkier thighs of course, which makes one look extremely appealing to certain people.
Read this article here which elaborates more on the topic – of cycling and sex.
4) You Get Better Sleep After Pumping Pedals
Again, Singapore is a wakeful, ever-busy city. Work stress leads to anxiety, which spells trouble in the I word for certain people – Insomnia. Anxiety is also one of the causes of insomnia. (Read this research here)
“Over the span of 35 years, University of Georgia researchers analyzed the health habits of more than 8,000 men and women between the ages of 20 and 85 and found that when study participants became less fit over time, they had more trouble getting an uninterrupted night of rest.”
To counter that, doctors recommend exercise (a common cure) which calms anxiety. Without the tension that regularly afflicts him, the patient sleeps better. Scientifically, exercise also gives a positive effect on the brain serotonin circuits which are crucial to good sleep. That and the improved level of fitness give you a better life, overall.
5) Cycling Gives You Quality Contemplation Time
is all you need from work and life. And cycling gives you that exactly.
Go without the headphones.
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