For years, exercise has been recommended for people’s health as it helps grow your mind. Hours of exercise create rich capillary beds in the gray matter, that component of the brain linked to, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making, and more.
According to Canadian neuroscientist Brian Christie, Ph.D., this is excellent as blood vessels in your brain and muscles mean more oxygen and nutrients to help them work.
An exercise like cycling forces more nerve cells to fire. When pedaling, these neurons light up; they intensify the creation of various proteins, and noggin, a compound that promotes the formation of brain cells. Ultimately, this leads to an enhanced mental capacity.
Of course, riding your way to a smarter mind must be done carefully. If you overdo it, the body will have sapped the glucose and other resources it needs.
You will find that the sweet spot for greater mental capacity is after exercise is between 30 and 60 minutes of aerobic riding 75% of your maximum heart rate.
And the benefits of cycling don’t stop there as it has the capacity of making people happier. After pedaling past the 20 to 30-minute mark, mood-lifting chemicals such as serotonin, endorphins, and cannabinoids start to kick in.
Researchers specialized in the field asked 24 men to either run or pedal at a moderate pace for 50 minutes. The results were impressive. The men had high-levels of anandamide (a natural cannabinoid) after exercising.
Riding your bike on a regular basis will also help you keeping hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in check, which will help you tackle stress and anxiety.
Authors of a recent review on exercise and depression came out with the best cycling prescription to happiness. You should do three to five cycling workouts per week.
Each session should last 45 or 60 minutes and you should keep your heart rate between 50% and 85% of your maximum capacity. This is, of course, a recommendation aimed at the general public.