If you already own a bike, the chances are you are more than aware of the positive benefits it has on your mental health.
Being bikers ourselves, we know that there are lots of perks to owning a bike. You can arrive at work in style, fulfilling your childhood dreams of finally becoming a power-ranger and you can embrace the freedom that comes with a full-throttle whatever the weather. However, one particular benefit, often over-looked by bike studies is possibly the most significant benefit of all. We are, of course, talking about the biker community and the role in mental health.
Despite being so well-connected in this new digital age, we are more isolated than ever. We have seen a significant increase in poor mental health that co-aligns with the rise of social connectivity. The evidence is in the facts. Currently, depression is the biggest killer of men aged under 45, with 75% of all suicides are committed by men.
However, many have suggested that the solution to this may lie from the habits of bikers worldwide. So let’s take a look at the three critical ways in which biking can improve your well-being.
Motorcycling helps you switch off
We live in a culture where over-working is the norm and anxiety is considered as healthy as the breakfast you eat every morning. However, there is nothing quite like jumping on your motorcycle and hitting the open road to release some tension. Thanks to mobile phones, the ability to switch off is usually challenging. Statistics show that one in three people can’t physically switch off from social media. Further research shows that 28% of individuals found it difficult to switch off due to work emails. Additionally, 20% of individuals stated that they feel mentally exhausted from always being connected.
However, when you’re hitting top speeds or approaching tight corners, you’d be lucky if you can think of anything but the road. Suddenly, there are no work deadlines, no social media notifications and nothing but you, your bike and the fresh air. In addition to this, motorcycling brings you back into nature, allowing you to venture into the countryside and see some of the most beautiful spots in the UK. In further support of this, UK based Charity Mind has stated that getting back to nature can help reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety and even OCD.
Motorcycling physically reduces your stress levels
UCLA conducted extensive research into the minds of bikers, the outcome of which demonstrated that just 20 minutes of motorcycling a day reduces hormonal indicators of stress by 28%. In addition to this, a bikers cortisol levels, the chemical responsible for fight or flight, decreased. As a result, bikers are significantly less likely to suffer from anxiety, headaches, heart attacks, memory problems, as well as other health conditions such as insomnia.
Motorcycling increases your social life
Bikers are a tight-knit community. From silent head nods to loud roadside barms, bikers understand one another. Biker events run almost weekly throughout the UK, and it’s easier than ever to find group rides. Social isolation is one of the leading causes of poor mental health. However, biking is a great way to meet new people with shared interests from all walks of life. It’s common knowledge that having an active social life helps fend off anxiety and other health conditions. A real biker knows that the community isn’t a friendship; it’s a family with a close bond.
Motorcycling gives you a healthy outlet
There are many ways to unwind, however many of these lead to long term health issues such as heavy drinking. Those who commute to work often note that the ride home gave them that critical breathing space to unwind. Riding a motorcycle is far different from driving a car. There is no passenger, no access to technology, and it requires your entire focus.
There are so many benefits associated with getting a motorcycle. However, the positive impact it can have on those with mental health issues are astronomical, making getting a bike a worthwhile investment. If you think owning a motorcycle has increased your mental health, let us know! Drop a comment on Facebook and tell us your own experience.
If you need any assistance after a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact SorryMate.