What's the greatest unexpected benefit you've had from cycling?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by canadian, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. canadian

    canadian New Member

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    Hi all, for me it's the improvement in my mental health. I got on my bike for my physical health, but I'm realizing exercise is just as important for the brain as for the body. I've been on my bike for 3 weeks and in that short time my depression has significantly eased up (I have bipolar disorder, and have been going through a depressive episode for several months), and I'm feeling sharper, happier, and more confident. I wouldn't say it's all about the cycling, but it's definitely a big part of it :)

    How about you?
     
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  2. flan48

    flan48 New Member

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    For myself, I had forgotten the joys of cycling as I had spine surgery 4 1/2 years ago, and for 6 months prior to that even cycling caused me great pain. about 2 1/2 years ago I "rediscovered" cycling and now ride 5 days per week, 12-16 miles each ride. I would ride even more often, but do other physical activities as well.

    Like others, I find cycling to be not only physically beneficial, but mentally/emotionally beneficial as well.

    Best regards
     
  3. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    I'll agree on the mental health aspect. I don't have any particular disorders, but strenuous physical activity seems to push the reset button on my brian and clear out stress and anxiety. Riding hard is mentally taxing to the point that it forces my focus on the present situation and everything else is drown out. I feel less stressed and just all-around better when I'm riding regularly. I sleep better. I'm calmer. I crave healthier food. I feel more energetic.
     
  4. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Yup, agree with the above. Don't forget weight loss - 220 two years ago, 162 this morning. Awesome change, I feel so much better.
     
  5. Viking55803

    Viking55803 Member

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    Being able to comfortably ride 30 hilly miles in under 2 hours at 66 years of age less than two years after quadruple heart bypass surgery. Losing 50 pounds makes the hills flatter than when I was fatter. Despite damage from a serious heart attack at age 43, I am riding at a level I couldn't imagine before my surgery!
     
  6. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine New Member

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    I am glad that cycling has helped you a great deal in your physical and mental well-being. It also gave me a lot of benefits, same as you. I became more active and mentally sharp. I wake up earlier than usual because I want to ride in the early morning before the heat of the sun would come out. I also feel more energetic in the morning and, of course, I felt lighter because of the exercise it gives. I also appreciated the outside nature and surroundings more during my bike trips.
     
  7. OGRICHBOI

    OGRICHBOI New Member

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    While riding, I passed this extremely attractive girl on my route. I thought it was a one time thing, so I did not think much of it. Next day, I see the same girl. So I decided to take action, and ask for her number. The benefit. This girl is my girlfriend now. Cycling gives me courage!
     
  8. jbepp

    jbepp New Member

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    The greatest unexpected benefit has been actually arriving on time to my classes. I decided to start commuting to my university a few months ago, mainly as a way to lose weight and keep in shape, and it was surprising to see that I managed to arrive to all of my classes on time. I used to be the guy who always shows up 10 or 20 minutes after class started and I can't really say I was proud of that.
     
  9. Kiprasn

    Kiprasn New Member

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    Before cycling I didnt have any stamina. I couldnt even ride more than 5 kilometres, but after few months I could ride over 15km without stopping on high pace:)
     
  10. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    Being so much stronger than I ever thought I could be. Biking has really forced me to build muscle, which is hard for me as a woman who is not really that giften at building strength. Pedaling a bike works the legs in a different way than say, climbing stairs, because your feet are not directly under you, they are several inches apart. This means that the thighs have to develope more strength on outer part, rather than just the center, so the strength in my legs is much more balanced all the way around the leg.

    When I started dancing a year and a half ago, this was a huge plus for me.
     
  11. BeachyKeen

    BeachyKeen New Member

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    I find the cycle ride to work or uni in the morning such a pick me up. The combination of fresh air and exercise wakes me up much better than a cup of coffee. I also really like being able to see the world while I'm getting around, rather than just staring at the floor of the bus or the train.
     
  12. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Member

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    An unexpected benefit is the amount of money I save from not driving. It was really something I never kept track of, driving costs. It was just a necessity. Now I find I have more cash available & that's a great win.
     
  13. Viciouscycle

    Viciouscycle New Member

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    Started riding for the physical benefits.

    Like others, am loving the mental relief.

    Is so nice and quiet on a nice bike path with the only sound the wind going by. Beautiful scenery. Even saw some deer on the local Greenway.

    I'm still pretty chicken about riding on streets with cars. I don't like hearing cars come up behind me!
     
  14. Connie858

    Connie858 New Member

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    The biggest single benefit for me is by far my freedom.

    Cycling frees me from so many health problems that walking or driving would not. In fact currently I can't walk more than 200meters with crutches and only about 5m without (if that). I can't currently drive because of the lack of use of my right leg (I'm in the UK and you need to use the right leg for an emergency stop. to be honest I don't think I could actually hold the accelerator down long enough to worry about using the brakes but there we go!).
    Cycling frees me from the rigours of daily life. It is a means to escape and be on my own with nature.
    Cycling frees me from my disability. I may be slow and I am have to take my crutches with me, but few people even realise my bike has been modified to allow me to use it.
    Cycling frees me from my asthma, my depression...

    And most importantly right now, cycling frees me from my bed. I can't sit upright, so my only option is to lie down and that means I have been confined to my bed for the last 5 months (not kidding) and my recumbent trike frees me from that. It gives me an hour or so each day (6 days a week) where I can get outside away from the home because not being able to sit means I can't travel, can't leave the house, can't go shopping, can't go to the cinema, gym, swimming pool, shops...

    Cycling is my freedom.
     
  15. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 New Member

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    I have to say apart from an increase in positivity, it was running into my old boss. He was a really sweet man and had a great deal of respect for people. I found out that after I moved from Oxford to Saint Helens, he had moved to liverpool and was working there. I saw him walking his dog on a ride and it was such a nice feeling to see him again.
     
  16. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    Peace of mind!i was in such a funk when I started to ride. It took everything I had to get out of bed and stay out. I hoped riding would ease my nerves a little bit. I had no idea it dissolve the funk completely
     
  17. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The unexpected benefit is that I am apparently more healthy than all my friends in my peer group. I listen to them talking about taking medication for things like blood pressure regulation and Type 2 diabetes.
    Little did I think that slogging my guts out as a water carrier would benefit my health at this stage of life.

    So I am very thankful to cycling for that unexpected benefit.
     
  18. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    It's always great when you can see first hand,'in comparison to your peers, what kind of an impact good habits will have on your health
     
  19. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    Biggest benefit for me is the social aspect of cycling. While I do ride alone a lot, I also ride with a group 2-3 times a week. I'm not a very social guy and I prefer to keep to myself but cycling opens me up a lot. I have a lot more people that I consider friends than I did before I got back into the sport.
     
  20. Dora M

    Dora M Member

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    I love my bike because it gives me the opportunity to get around whenever and wherever I want. There were times when I was stuck without any kind of vehicle, and it literally made me feel claustrophobic to be dependent on buses and trains. I simply love the independence that a bike gives me, especially in places where there is no public transport available. I can visit my friends who live 15, 20 km away without the slightest problem. Also, riding my bike to work gets me there up to 20 minutes earlier than if I'd catch a lift with my boyfriend in his car.
     
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