It is no secret that exercise is good for you. When we exercise, we release hormones called endorphins, which help us to stay energized. Not only that, but exercise is imperative for our bodies to function properly. Our hearts, lungs, brains, and muscles need proper circulation to stay healthy, and one of the ways to achieve this is through regular physical activity. The list, of course, goes on about the physical benefits of exercise.
But what about the emotional benefits? If one is dealing with an emotional disorder, illness, or other unhealthy mental condition, does exercise benefit in any tangible way?
It can be incredibly tough to be motivated to exercise when dealing with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, as well as when dealing with stress, grief, or related conditions. However, you may be surprised to learn that the mental benefits of exercise are just as rewarding as the physical.
The mind and body are linked in many ways, which make regular exercise a positive and legitimate form of therapy for those dealing with an emotional disorder or mental health issues.
Can riding an e-bike help improve mental health and deal with an emotional disorder? Riding an e-bike is a widely lauded option for those struggling with mental health issues, suggested by medical professionals and patients alike. Due to its aerobic nature, accessibility, and ease in which e-bikes can be incorporated into a regular routine, riding an electric bicycle is quickly becoming one of the top forms of prescribed exercise for people to help control and manage their mental health.
Mental and emotional benefits of riding electric bike
Cycling on e-bike is a soft form of exercise
Considered a form of medicine in its own right, exercise can provide a life-changing and constructive impact on your emotional health. The best part is, you don’t have to overdo it or become exercise-crazed to feel the impact. In fact, starting slowly and pacing yourself is key to maintaining a long-term, sustainable regimen.
The reason it’s so important to try and maintain a consistent schedule, even if it’s once or twice a week, is because a consistent activity has the potential to help you stay on an improved emotional path and help to avoid a relapse.
E-Bikes are a wonderful option when looking to keep a consistent schedule for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that e-Bikes can be incorporated into your routine as either a form of transportation, leisure, or both, which is great if you have an already overwhelming and busy life.
Read also: Here is why e-bikes are really cool. And, How to select the best city e-bike (with examples)?
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be an expert at cycling, e-Bikes are made to be accessible for everyone: the electric pedal-assist nature and adjustable resistance means that you don’t have to invest as much effort into riding an electric bicycle as traditional cycling calls for.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: with e-bikes you have a smoother and faster ride, can stop and go much more easily, and can take it as easy or intense as you’d like depending on how you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis.
And if the e-Bike is too much to handle (ie. if you’re dealing with a physical condition or are just not comfortable on two wheels), you can always invest in an electric tricycle, which has three wheels instead of two. This will provide more balance while still giving you the option to get your exercise in.
Read also: How much does it cost to own an e-bike? And, What is the difference between cheap and expensive e-bikes?
Riding e-bike helps get you outside
Another benefit of riding your electric bike is that it gets you outside. Exercising outside has been proven to help improve moods for a variety of reasons: fresh air and getting vitamin D from the sun are just a few, amongst feeling refreshed and engaged as well as diffusing feelings of anger, tension, or anxiety.
Many e-bike riders have noted a strong sense of peacefulness and clarity of mind when they ride. A form of exercise like e-bike riding can also act as a distraction and/or a healthy physical outlet for your emotions. If nothing else, your e-Bike rides can become a place and time for your mind to relax.
If you’re worried about how long you should be riding to feel the mental benefits, don’t fear – start with a 10 or 15-minute ride once or twice a week, and try to build up your tolerance from there.
Getting on e-bike helps avoid car traffic
Using an e-bike also means that you can avoid car traffic. This may be more beneficial than you think – sitting in a car, particularly during rush hour, can contribute to further triggering feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Riding an e-Bike means much more freedom when dealing with transportation, and the factor of avoiding car traffic alone can potentially make a huge difference for your mental health.
Riding e-bike helps cope with anxiety, depression, stress, or grief
Countless healthcare professionals note that those suffering from mental disorders and conditions (such as anxiety, depression, stress, or grief) report that regular exercise leads to an overall improved sense of wellbeing. With the endorphin rush and various other physiological aspects that occur when exercising, riding an e-bike can relieve tension, elevate your mood, help with memory retention, and steady your sleeping habits.
Low impact movement is also one of the best forms of exercise to start off with, especially if you’re not used to exercising regularly or if you experience a lot of down periods due to your mental illness. This is because it gets your body moving without being as overwhelming or putting as much pressure on your mind and body (low impact exercises are easy on your joints).
Aiding mental health via cardio exercise
Aerobic exercises are also among the top forms of exercise that can aid in managing and limiting the occurrences of panic attacks and social anxiety, with studies proving that they can lower anxiety and anxiety sensitivity.
Read also: Can I use e-bike to get fit or for weight loss? And, Are e-bikes good for cardio exercise?
Cycling happens to be one of the best low-impact aerobic exercises you can do, which means that your e-Bike will provide an easy yet effective way to work out your entire body. It will simultaneously help to circulate oxygen into your brain, which will ultimately help to restore your receptors (the nerves and organs that transmit signals to your sensory nerves) without straining your body too much.
This is important if you often feel mentally and physically drained. Pushing yourself too hard might result in exhausting yourself even further and thus breaking out of the exercise cycle. Be realistic, and yet try to stay as optimistic as possible about your own boundaries and limits.
E-bike riding helps to deal with grief and depression
If you are dealing with depression, exercising can contribute to reducing inflammation and can help with “neural growth and new activity patterns” (link to the source) that can aid in feelings of relaxation and serenity.
For people dealing with grief, either associated with depression or on its own, exercising can help balance your nervous system. Allowing your mind to focus on your physical body while exercising can not only provide a distraction but can also help minimize your stress levels.
There are many accounts of riders who have noted that riding their e-Bike regularly has helped them during their periods of intense grief-related depression. These accounts have stated that being outdoors and having peaceful rides have helped to bring clarity both physically and mentally, in turn making the healing process more manageable (link to the source).
Riding an electric bike, and exercise in general, is simply one tool and resource that can act as a therapeutic outlet when going through grieving periods: it’s no doubt that e-Bikes remind a person of how tangibly alive they are – being outside, taking in the scenery, and focusing on actively moving one’s body – which can be an imperative reminder if you are dealing with grief, loss, and depression.
Getting on e-bike helps reduce stress and anxiety
For anxiety sufferers, exercise can help relieve tension. Exercising will enhance your mental and physical capacity and energy, and the action of moving in a rhythmic fashion will effectively help to focus on something aside from your anxiety.
When dealing with stress, sufferers know that stress can take itself on in physical manifestations, including muscle tightness in your shoulders, neck, back, and face. This can be both mentally and physically painful, and though it may seem like exercising will make it worse, it’s quite the opposite: exercising helps loosen and relax the muscles, strengthen them, and release pressure. This will help break the cycle of stress and its physical manifestations and will make you feel stronger both emotionally and physically.
If and when you are dealing with stress or anxiety, your heart tends to beat faster and shorter, and shallow breathing can lead to panic attacks. What’s happening on a chemical level is that there becomes a buildup of carbon dioxide and a simultaneous lack of oxygen going to the brain, which ultimately ends in higher stress levels.
Read also: Does riding an e-bike help train strength and endurance? And, Are electric bikes good for cardio exercise?
Cycling, and in turn cycling on an e-bike, is a form of exercise that requires the regulation of breathing, ultimately strengthening your diaphragm and lungs. Through the practice of breathing deeper, there is less carbon dioxide buildup and more oxygen entering your body, which will essentially help you manage your stress and anxiety levels. When your lungs expand, there is less pressure on your nervous system, which in turn will alleviate and improve stress tolerance.
It may sound like a leap, but exercise is considered a legitimate therapeutic treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress and in many instances can be just as effective as medication.
E-Bikes can be used by anyone and everyone
E-Bike enthusiasts have noted that either themselves or loved ones who deal with mental illness have benefitted greatly from riding their e-bikes, especially when combined with the appropriate therapy and medication.
Easy Tip: But remember, there is no one answer or quick fix when dealing with a mental illness or disorder – always consult a medical professional if you have any questions or concerns.
If you find that you’re feeling too tired to exercise, e-bike riding is an easy way to get your exercise in without going too overboard, investing too much time into it, or going to the gym (which can be a source of additional anxiety to those already suffering from mental illness).
E-bike exercise is an excellent energizer and can help hugely with reducing your fatigue. This, in turn, will help you sleep better and feel more ready for the day.
Riders of all ages and with all kinds of physical and mental conditions have noted just how much they enjoy using their e-bike, and whether they ride frequently or not that it has motivated them to take part in a more active lifestyle that, in turn, has actively contributed to bettering their mental health.
Read also: Guidance for riding an electric bicycle with certain health conditions. And, Most common e-bike riding pains, how to prevent and cure.
Some people turn to methods such as therapy and medication, but it is important to note that those are not always long-term solutions. Many patients have noted that riding their e-Bike has in fact saved them by being a reliable long-term option that can be utilized alongside other forms of treatment.
There is no doubt that the sheer enjoyment of riding an e-bike coupled with its physiological and psychological benefits make riding an electric bicycle an effective form of exercise and therapy. Riding an e-bike can help to strengthen a person mentally and physically and is a form of exercise that can be done whenever and however you choose.
The sense of autonomy that comes with an e-bike plays a huge role in its overarching success with so many riders, and the positive benefits to the mind and soul are, ultimately, endless.
Do not miss this TED video talk about amazing ways bicycles change us: