The Health Benefits of Riding a Motorcycle
Did you know a motorcycle ride can be compared to a light workout? Riding a motorcycle is not only an exciting and enjoyable activity, but also a healthy one. Many people may not realize that it can have positive effects on both their physical and mental health. Here are some of the benefits your body experiences from riding a motorcycle:
Improves your mood and reduces stress
When you ride a motorcycle, your body is triggered to produce adrenaline, which then causes the release of endorphins – or mood-elevating hormones. Endorphins are known to increase pleasure and minimize pain.
Research has shown that long rides can have the same benefit as mindful meditation because you are fully engaged in the present moment, focusing on your body position, speed, road position, and surroundings. This helps to clear your mind and relieve stress.
A study published by Science Direct found that that:
- Riding a motorcycle decreased hormonal biomarkers of stress by 25%
- Sensory focus was enhanced while riding a motorcycle vs driving a car, one of the same effects that has been observed in experienced meditators vs non-meditators
- Changes in participants’ brain activity while riding showed an increase in alertness similar to drinking a cup of coffee
Improves your cardiovascular health
Riding a motorcycle increases your heart rate and blood circulation, which in turn can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It takes strength and is comparable to a light workout because it burns calories and helps maintain a healthy weight. So not only is riding enjoyable, it can also reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
Improves muscle strength
Did you know when riding you are actively engaging many muscle groups, making it a whole-body workout? You are working your core by engaging your abs every time you take a corner, or even move your bike around. You work your back and neck muscles when turning your head to look different ways, along with the added weight of a helmet and constant wind resistance. You work your leg muscles when walking or pushing a motorcycle, as well as using your thighs to grip when making turns. Even your hand muscles are strengthened when gripping the handles, squeezing and releasing the brake lever and twisting the throttle.
Improves Brain Function
Research has shown riding can help boost your brain power and memory. It requires you to be constantly aware of your surroundings and to make quick decisions. This can improve your reaction time and problem-solving skills. A scientific study by Tohoku University in Japan found that riding a motorcycle can improve your cognitive function by as much as 50%. This is because riding activates your brain and stimulates neural pathways.
While it isn’t usually the main reason someone decides to buy a motorcycle or start riding, you can see that there are many health benefits that no one really talks about. It can make you happy, fit, strong, and smart. Of course, it also comes with some risks and challenges, so you should always ride safely and responsibly. If you or someone you know are looking for a fun and healthy hobby, riding a motorcycle might be just what you need.