AMX Blog

World Mental Health Day

By Rhi AMX

Fri Oct 09 2020

October 10th is World Mental Health Day and if you already own a bike, the chances are you are more than aware of the positive benefits it has on your mental health. 

Many are still afraid to speak about how they feel for fear of being stigmatised so to help promote positive mental health on World Mental Health Day, we’re talking about it, and taking a look into some benefits of getting out on the seat.

People all over the world struggle at one time or another with their mental health and for most, riding a motorbike is a liberating statement with the track or trail being the key to clearing your head. Motorbike riding, no matter what your discipline is proven to be positive for mental health and a lot has been done over recent years to shed light on the often, taboo subject.

 Motorcycling can be either exhilarating or terrifying, depending on who you ask but no matter the danger of riding full speed on 2 wheels, as any rider will tell you, there’s nothing quite like it.  For many, it's the freedom of the open road that nothing else can match. When you are riding, your mind is fully engaged, which is kind of like a mediation, just with your eyes open.  You take in what's around you using all your senses on every straight and bend.

Being bikers ourselves, we know that there are lots of perks to riding including embracing the feeling that comes with a full throttle outing whatever the weather.  There is nothing quite like jumping on your bike and hitting the open road to watch your stress levels disappear, using the ride as a therapy session to release some tension and feeling refreshed when you throw your leg off after a long ride.

Yamaha Motor Co. has been involved in joint research on the relationship between motorcycle riding and brain stimulation for some time, experimenting to determine the effects on the brain by motorcycle riding.  Through this research, the relationship between the two has been verified and benefits drawn from their conclusions.

Benefit #1
Your Brain Power increases whilst riding a motorcycle

Benefit #2
Incorporating motorcycle riding into daily life improves various cognitive functions and has positive effects on mental and emotional health such as stress reduction.

Benefit #3
Motorcycle riding enhances your core strength and stability.

Benefit #4
Riding a motorcycle is exercise and burns calories, giving you a total body and mind workout.

Despite being so well-connected in this new digital age, research suggest we are more isolated than ever with depression leading to the increase in suicide numbers.  The evidence is in the stats. 

  • Suicide was the leading cause of death among Males aged 15–44 in 2016–2019.
  • 48% of all suicides in 2000 were by 35 to 64-year-old Males.
  • 8 Australians die every day by suicide - more than double the road toll. 75% are male.

Making time for yourself on your bike as often as you can will help make your mind stronger and more resilient, but it doesn’t have to be a solo game, bikers are a tight-knit community.  From silent head nods to a hand gestures, bikers understand one another.  There are bike events run almost weekly throughout the country, and it’s easier than ever to find group rides.  Social isolation is one of the leading causes of poor mental health however biking is a great way to meet new people with shared interests from all walks of life. It’s common knowledge that having an active social life helps fend off anxiety and other health conditions and any real biker knows that the community isn’t a friendship; it’s a family.

There are so many benefits associated with getting out on your bike. Male or female, young or old, the therapeutic impact of motorcycle riding can cut across gender, age, race, education and the positive impact it can have on those with mental health issues is huge.  Another perfect reason to get out and ride.

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If you want to reach out to a group and get involved in something big, here’s a couple who are here to help. 

Black Dog Ride
Psychs on Bikes
The Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride
Mental Wheels Foundation

 

 

 

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