January 26, 2017

Cycling does more than strengthening muscles and increase endurance- it also has an impressive list of benefits for your brain. The clarity and focus you’re feeling after you bike to work is no coincidence- there’s real science behind it. Recent studies have shown commuting by bike has positive effects on your memory, concentration, relaxation and thought clarity.

Making Connections As it turns out, the blood going to your muscles while you pedal, also goes to your brain. During this process, oxygen and nutrients go with it supplying one nutrient dense protein, in particular, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This protein is highly beneficial for the white matter in your brain. As the 'subway of the brain', white matter makes deepens neural pathways and makes connections. Building up your white matter means you will be able to experience deeper concentrate, more relaxation, better clarity of thought, and stronger problem-solving skills. BDNF is also a wonderful help for things like combating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.

Boost your Productivity One of the more impressive statistics we’ve seen about biking to work are the results from a productivity study. It was shown the cycling increases one’s ability to concentrate by 15 percent, with 28 percent fewer task errors- which can be an absolute game changer. Not to mention that they are 15 percent fewer days off than non-cyclers. 

The Power of Memory- Memories have always lived in the realm of mystery for scientists. But one thing they are finding out now is that aerobic exercises, such as cycling, makes your hippocampus grow! As the hippocampus is the control center of your memories- this is great! Studies have shown that short sessions of cycling can boost your ability to recall short term memories up to 40 percent! 

Ability to Multitask Riding your bike through bustling city streets requires you to make multiple decisions quickly- this in combination with utilizing your cerebellum for balance add up to fantastic brain exercise by the time you reach your destination. Research has shown a link between physical fitness and increased ability to multitask successfully.

The takeaway: Riding your bike doesn't just reduce your waistline, it also kicks your brain into high gear. 

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