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How Cycling has a positive impact on your Mental Health

Words by Will Crump

on 12/02/2021 09:00:00


For 2021, Rutland Cycling will be working closely with four local Mind charities close to our store locations, supporting fundraising, sponsorship, volunteering and to help raise awareness of the work and support offered by the local Mind charities across our store areas.

Research by Mind shows that one in four us will experience a mental health problem each year and the with the current challenging times we are all experiencing, we are all adjusting to a new way of living and many of us are feeling worried or anxious.

How can cycling benefit your mental health?


Cycling is the perfect way to fit exercise into your daily routine safely, it can make you feel good on the inside and out. With the help of the local Mind charities, we have put together a list to highlight why cycling is good for your mental health:

  • Managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts – cycling can help reduce the levels of your body’s stress hormone, cortisol, which helps us manage stress. Being physically active allows you to focus on something different and can be a positive coping strategy for difficult times.
  • Feel Happier - cycling helps release the ‘feel-good’ hormones known as endorphins – hormones which help to relax your mind and make you feel happier.
  • Better self-esteem – being more active can make you feel better about yourself as you improve and meet your goals.
  • Reducing the risk of depression - studies have shown that doing regular physical activity can reduce the likelihood of experiencing a period of depression.
  • Better Sleep - physical activity will help you feel more tired and relaxed at the end of the day.
  • Connecting with more people - doing group or team activities can help you meet new and like-minded people and make new friends, but if you feel that you don’t want to be part of a group, a cycle on your own enjoying your surroundings and the fresh air will be a good starting point. As you build your confidence and when you are ready, you can join like- minded people and enjoy their company.

Exercise can seem like an impossible challenge when you're having a tough time


When you're feeling unwell, it can be really hard to get started and it can be frustrating when people tell you about the benefits of being more active. If you’re in a really bad place, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t exercise. It can be easy to start feeling guilty or beat yourself up about not exercising, and this can start to contribute to feeling unwell. You may need to focus on other things for a while and build some physical activity into your routine once you’re feeling a bit better.

  • Be kind to yourself - sometimes you can't be as active as you would like, and your energy levels will vary on different days. It's fine to slow down or take a break.
  • Start off slowly - it may take a while to build up your fitness. Doing too much at first will make you feel tired and may put you off – take your time and go at your own pace to help build your confidence.
  • Plan a realistic and achievable cycle route - try to find ways to be active that fit into your day-to-day life around your commitments.
  • Try to identify your triggers and work around them - for example, if you don’t want to join a cycling group, cycle on your own until your confidence improves and you are ready to mix and socialise with a supportive groups of cyclists.
  • Don't give up - it may take a while to build your confidence, but take it slowly and go at your own pace, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, remember cycling should be enjoyable.

Please, always check with your GP about what is safe for you before you start any physical activity.


Find out more about our support for local Mind charities on our webpage at:

Rutland Cycling Charity Policy

and help Rutland Cycling support four local Mind charities during 2021.


Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store