We all know it, cycling is good for your health, cycling is a workout good for the environment, cycling fights away stress and worries. There are just so many reasons to love cycling even more.
And as if we need a new reason to start riding the bike, many studies now reveal that cycling is actually beneficial for your brain function as well.
Yes, cycling can boost your memory and improve your problem solving as well as decision making skills. It enhances the part of the brain responsible for speeding up brain connections according to a research conducted in the Netherlands. A separate study found out that cycling increases the functionality of the protein that regulates mood and memory, also known as the BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
A Vanderbilt University study further exposed that an activity such as cycling develops focus and concentration among adults. The same study revealed that active participants have a 40 per cent more chance of resolving a puzzle than participants who don’t go cycling.
Among the many things that cycling improves is the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the region of the brain responsible for the organisation, formation, and storing of memories. A study conducted by the University Of Illinois disclosed that just after six months of everyday cycling, participants in the study have boosted their memory as well as problem solving skills by as much as 20 per cent. The hippocampus of the participants also grew by 2 per cent. The cyclists who participated also stated that their attention span and focus improved greatly. Deterioration of the hippocampus is a normal part of aging, but cycling seemed to work against this as the study also revealed that brain functions of the cyclists are working as if two years younger than their actual age.
What’s more is that you don’t necessarily have to train with extreme intensity and ride the bicycle for longer periods of time to achieve improvement in cognitive skills. Cycling for just 30 minutes or less can already help. Both indoor and outdoor cycling will be sufficient in developing the brain function. In addition, pushing yourself too hard by cycling too intensely just to achieve better brain operation may cause problems instead of improvement. Pushing yourself too hard may result in hindered processing of information as well as damaged memory. There are also other reports which additionally discovered that older cyclists also have a decreased possibility of suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The benefits one can get from cycling are numerous, that’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that more and more people switch to cycling every day. So, if you’re ready to boost your brain functionality, go for a ride!