What Mental Health Benefits Can Riding Your Motorcycle Provide?

It’s safe to say that motorcycles are increasing in popularity. There were over 1.3 million motorcycle registrations in the UK last year alone – and that figure was a noticeable increase on the previous year. While some may see them as noisy, dangerous nuisances, a great many other see them for what they are – a glorious machine, and a gateway to zen. But how? Here are some of the ways in which motorcycles can improve your mental wellbeing.

Riding Can Improve Cognitive Function

In a 2009 study by Dr. Ryuta Kawashima – the man behind the infamous Nintendo Brain Training games – discovered that middle-aged motorcycle riders saw an increase in their cognitive function after riding their bikes daily for two months. The effects of this included an increase in concentration, as well as a reduction in stress. Any improvements in focus will have knock-on effects for your mental health as a whole, especially if you work in a high-stress environment – and this is conclusive scientific proof that regularly riding a motorcycle will do just that.

Riding as Therapy

Taking your motorbike for a spin – whether it’s a part of your daily commute, or a joy-ride around your area – can be crucially important for giving your brain space to breathe. Not only are you inadvertently practicing mindfulness while riding, aware as you are of your route and potential obstacles, you are also removing yourself from familiar environments and engaging with an enjoyable task in the process. Giving yourself time with your bike alone can clear your head, enabling you to make clearer decisions and work your way through tough emotions.

An Engaging Hobby

Your motorbike is often more than a vehicle. It’s a portal to a wider interest, from racing to mechanics and everywhere in-between. Biking is more hobby than utility, paving the way to tinkering in your garage, finding out exactly how everything works, and even adding bikes to your collection! (Don’t worry, there’s multi-bike insurance for that.) Even if you’re a beginner, the act of learning to ride a motorbike is a labour of love. It’s learning a new skill, something which is excellent for your brain’s health, not to mention your mood and self-esteem. 

Making New Friends

Riding your motorbike is also a sure-fire pathway to making new friends and connections, and feeding your head in the process. Motorbike clubs exist, which organise rides along pre-arranged routes and often finish up at a venue for a meet-up and coffee; groups exist which follow the Moto GP; and there are even vast online communities for you to join and talk all things bike. Crucially, all of these communities have something in common – a shared interest, and a shared interest with you. These communities can be crucial for people otherwise struggling alone, as not only do they have a group of like-minded folk to remind them what they enjoy, they also have a support network of new friends for if things seem to be getting worse.

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