Have you ever noticed how motorcyclists tend to be pretty laid back, chill people? People who take their motorcycles out for regular rides are often some of the nicest, happiest, and relaxed people you can meet. While some might attribute these positive personality traits to coincidence or other lifestyle factors, a recent study suggests it could be more than that. Regular motorcycle riders often talk about ‘wind therapy’ and the health benefits of riding. But there’s evidence suggesting that riding alone is enough to decrease stress, increase focus, and promote a happier life. (1, 2, 4)
What Is Wind Therapy?
Have you ever been on a sailboat in the middle of a great lake or ocean, feeling the wind on your face? Have you ever been out hiking and when you met the summit, it came with large gusts of wind, cooling you down? Have you ever been biking, walking on a windy beach, or simply enjoyed a breeze while drinking a latte outdoors? Do you remember the refreshing calm or serenity you found in each of these windy oases? That’s wind therapy. And it is an integral part of the awesome package that is motorcycle riding.
While many of the benefits of riding motorcycles are anecdotal, this particular benefit does appear to be accurate due to numerous contributing opinions. Even veterans opt for using “wind therapy” in the form of motorcycle riding as a form of solace. For military veterans struggling back home with PTSD from the scenes they saw overseas, motorcycle riding helps them calm down. According to the people who ride – freedom, friendship, and an increase in focus are all benefits of riding motorcycles. (1, 2, 3)
Veterans aside, plenty of other people choose motorcycle riding as a form of entertainment and therapy. A study was conducted in order to reveal real, objective benefits to riding a motorcycle. While the results might come as a surprise to some, the evidence gathered was in no way unexpected by many motorcycle riders. (1, 2)
Benefits of Motorcycle Riding
Harley Davidson and the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human behavior collaborated in order to examine the health benefits of motorcycle riding. Fifty healthy motorcycle riders were included in the study. Over the course of the study, the riders were asked to ride their own motorcycles during normal weather conditions for exactly 22 miles. The goal was to identify what type of brain activity occurred for each rider. Additionally, each rider’s hormone levels were measured before and after their ride. The results of the study were fascinating. (1, 2, 4)
All of the riders in the study were attached to an electroencephalogram (EEG) device. It carefully detected their brain’s electrical activity while they rode their bikes. The riders were dutifully monitored before, during, and after their ride to gauge the change in electrical activity in the brain. They were also monitored while driving a car to see if driving in general produced similar results, and while at rest as the control. All of the data collected pieced together to reveal some very interesting stats. Researchers discovered stress levels decrease by 28 percent during the motorcycle ride. Not only that, but the 22-minute motorcycle ride increased heartbeats by 11 percent, adrenaline by 27 percent, and it increased alertness. (1, 4)
So, there you have it! If you’re someone who advocates that riding a motorcycle is good for your health, you now have the numbers to prove it. A lot of people think motorcycles are either impractical or unsafe. While it’s true that they can be more dangerous than cars and less practical for hauling or in inclement weather, these means of transportation provide some interesting health benefits that no other way of going places can. If you’re looking for ways to de-stress, wake up, or enjoy a nice day, consider investing in a quality motorcycle – or at least make friends with someone who already has one. They’re a great source of entertainment and wonderful relationship boosters!