The Health Benefits of Cycling Travel

Cyclists riding past Victor Emmanuel II National Monument in Rome

Here we are at the half way mark of another Winter, and if you’re like me, it’s starting to become a little hard to take…particularly when the amazing summer scenery of the TDF is in front of you each day.  So if you’re feeling the same way, it might be time to think about organising a trip…to not only escape the weather, but to also help your mind and body.

I read an interesting article this week which said that to travel outside of your comfort zone, is good for your health.  The excitement that comes from being in a new environment helps your mind, and the the extra k’s in the legs from cycling are definitely good for the body.

Below are a few of the benefits of cycling travel: 

1. Travel keeps your mind sharp and promotes brain health. When you travel, you interact with novel stimuli in the form of new people, cultures, situations, and experiences. When you combine that with cycling, you’re often experiencing the journey at a whole other level as you’re out in the open, in nature, challenging yourself even further…..and freeing up your brain. I’ve often said that for me, cycling is my meditation.

2. Travel increases creativity. The brain’s neural pathways are influenced by environment and experience, which leads to the belief that travel can spark synapses in the brain and enhance creativity. It does for me. Inspiration comes from all around, including signage, packaging and even man hole covers in the cobbled street of Europe.

3. Stress reduction is one of the most important benefits of travel.  Pulling yourself out of your daily routines and into new surroundings resets both your mind and body, resulting in significant stress relief. Moreover, leisure activities, such as cycling while travelling, can lower levels of depression and improve psychological functioning.  You can experience a boost in happiness even while planning a trip. Having something to look forward to, even if it’s a two-day trip, can feel rewarding.  Couple that with having a cycling goal to train for, makes it all the more rewarding. 

4. Travel broadens your perspectives, not only of the world but also of yourself. When traveling you may often find yourself in situations that you wouldn’t be in otherwise. You are faced with the reality of living outside your comfort zone, which, as uncomfortable as it is, gives you the opportunity to transform how you see things. 

5. Travel offers the opportunity to increase your connection to others and yourself by meeting new people that you otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to connect with. When you are outside of your comfort zone, you may have to look to others for guidance, which can create a sense of connectedness. Whether you obtain this connection by engaging with the locals, other travelers, or even those you are travelling with, making social connections, or deepening the ones you already have, can improve your mental and physical health.  This is definitely the experience when you’re challenging yourself with a tough climb or two, a day out on the gravel or simply just putting in a bigger day of riding than normal…the support that can come from the people around you is immeasurable and can create lasting connections.

So if you are in need of a change of scenery or a jolt of new energy, come with us and celebrate the end of Winter with a trip to Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges from 26-28th August 2016, or join us for our magical adventure to Tuscany in Italy to ride the 20th edition of L’eroica from 26th September to 3rd October 2016

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