Why exercise is vital for good mental health


A woman and man cycling
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This April, we’re challenging you to get on your bike for Simon and help break the cycle of homelessness. Cycling is a fantastic form of exercise. It builds muscle, increases lung health and even boosts brain power! But did you know that regular exercise, like cycling, is also good for your mental health? And that’s what we’ll be talking about here in this blog post.

Living through a pandemic has highlighted the importance of good mental health for all of us. This April, help your homeless community and give your mental health a boost, and get on your bike for Simon!

How can exercise help my mental health?

Exercise is all about getting your body moving. We know that it’s good for our physical health. But exercise has been consistently shown to improve our psychological well-being. Here’s how.

It raises your self-esteem.

Exercise makes you feel good from the inside out. Researchers have been studying physical activity and self-esteem and the results are clear: the more we move, the better we feel about ourselves. As your fitness levels improve, so does your self-esteem. The success of creating an exercise plan and sticking to it can provide a huge sense of achievement and self-worth.

It boosts happy chemicals.

The American Psychological Association found that exercise can enhance your mood after just five minutes. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. Endorphins are responsible for the post-exercise high that accompany workouts. Endorphins can also help bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.

It gets you out into nature.

The best thing about cycling is that it gets you out in nature. Scientists call exercising outdoors ‘green exercise’ and it has a ton of benefits. Thankfully, living in Yorkshire we have access to lots of fantastic countryside!

Green exercise rapidly improves self-esteem and negative moods. In fact, scientists found that our mood improves within the first five minutes of participating in green exercise. So, not only does cycling outdoors increase your daily boost of vitamin D, but it also boosts your happiness!

Alleviates stress and anxiety.

When we're stressed, our body feels the impact. But exercise reduces the body’s levels of stress hormones, known as cortisol, helping us better manage stress. High levels of cortisol are linked to disruptions in sleep, making exercise a vital tool to help us catch those all important 40 winks.  

Being physically active provides your brain with something to focus on other than feelings of anxiety. Not only does exercise divert anxious thoughts, but it decreases muscle tension, which lowers the body's contribution to feeling anxious.

The results are in - exercise is fantastic for your mental health! It improves your feelings of self-esteem, reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts your endorphin levels. Exercise gets you out in nature and boosts feelings of happiness.

Cycling is a fantastic form of exercise, especially as it gets you out in nature. So, why not get on your bike for Simon? Challenge yourself to cycle any distance between 12 – 16th April. You can encourage your friends and family to join or take on the challenge solo. Let everyone know you’re cycling for homelessness and get your sponsorships in! And remember, by getting on your bike for Simon, you’re helping to stop the vicious cycle of homelessness. 

Sign up to Get on your Bike for Simon now!

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