Wednesday, 18 April 2012

It's not always sunny, but it's always good for you!

Today and I had a meeting with a colleague in Hebden Bridge. The weather was pretty wet and quite cold but of course we both arrived by bike. The canal paths got wetter as the day went on and the overflows were very slippery. The rain became incessant and hands got quite cold with very wet gloves on.

In the end though a 30 mile ride, when you really wouldn't want to go outside the front door, is still pretty good. You still get exercise and once you've got going you can still enjoy the fresh air and the outdoors.

Today I saw a Yellow Wagtail beside the canal, I've not seen one for years, and the usual range of ducks, geese and a heron. This cycling stuff isn't only good for your body, it's good for the mind as well.

The Science Bit

Note the science here is mostly correct but sometimes it may be totally made up. It's up to you to decide which each day.

How does riding in rubbish conditions benefit the mind?

The simple scientific answer is: Endorphins

The more detailed scientific answer is: When the body is subjected to certain stresses and also to certain pleasurable things (i.e. stimulae) the production of certain hormone related substances is increased. These substances include endorphins, sometimes called the "feel-good hormones" and sure enough they make you feel better.

The secondary scientific answer is: Whilst cycling in difficult conditions, including very slippery overflows like the one above, your mind is occupied by the immediate physical requirements and the parts of your brain which might be worrying or feeling pressured effectively get a break.

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