Family biking on a trail

Cycle your way to better mental health

May is National Bike Month! Cycling and physical activity can not only improve ones physical health, but their mental health and mood. Only a few lifestyle choices have as large an impact on your health as physical activity.

People who are physically active for about seven hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week. Regular physical activity can help keep thinking, learning, and judgment skills active and sharp.

"Physical activity, like biking, can also reduce the risk of depression and improve sleep," said Kimble Richardson, licensed mental health counselor at Community. "Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities three to five times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can provide these mental health benefits."

The good news is that even moderate or lower levels of aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people. Physical activity benefits everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, shape or size.