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Motorcycling good for physical and mental health: Studies show

Report By Shivani Baddi | Christ College Student Bengaluru | Last Updated at May 14 2019

A neurobiological study that was conducted recently in UCLA has revealed that motorcycling is good for physical and mental health.

Motorcyclists usually tend to make claims that it is an invaluable tool for stress relief and provide mental and physical health and now they have their proof to support their claim!

This study recorded the participants brain activities, heart rate as well as levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol (hormonal marker of stress) before, during and after motorcycling, driving a car and resting.

The results of these studied show that riding a bike increases metrics of focus and attention and decreases relative levels of cortisol and causes an increase in sensory focus and resilience to distraction and also produces an increase in the adrenaline levels and heart rate. It also causes a decrease in cortisol metrics.

Surprisingly, these are also the results which are associated with light exercise and stress-reduction.
The benefits that have been found of riding a motorcycle are as follows:
• Decreased hormonal biomarkers of stress by 28%
• Sensory focus was enhanced more while riding a motorcycle than driving a car similar to the effect observed in experienced meditators versus non meditators.
• On an average riding a bike for 20 minutes increased the heart rates by 11% and adrenaline levels by 27% in the riders.
• Studies show changes in the participants’ brain activity resulting in increase in alertness, similar to the effect of drinking a cup of coffee.

“Until recently, the technology to rigorously measure the impact of activities like motorcycling on the brain didn’t exist.

The brain is an amazing complex organ and its fascinating to rigorously investigate the physical and mental effects riders report. The differences in participants neurological and physiological responses between riding other measured activities were quite pronounced. This could be significant for mitigating stresses” says Dr. Don Vaughn, neuroscientist who lead the research.

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