Cycling – a little bit of Prozac and a bit of Ritalin

Kids concentrate better when they ride their bikes (or walk) to school, according to a Danish study written up in Atlantic Cities. And there is some stunning new research about the impact of cycling on the brain, writes Sarah Goodyear.

There are stories of attention deficit disorder patients using a cycling regimen to relieve his symptoms. She also cites the use of cycling to help Parkinson’s patients who suffer from “freezing gait”, meaning they take a long time to shuffle a few steps. On a bicycle, the same patient looks as if nothing is wrong with him.

A professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, John Ratey, is researching connections between cycling and other exercise and mood, ageing, ADHD, and other mental functions.

But this is not enough, Goodyear says. “[This] is far from the only research showing positive cognitive benefits from cycling, and not just for school-age kids. And yet these connections are only beginning to be explored.”

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