Owning a motorcycle can have lots of perks. From being able to get to work in style, exploring the countryside on the weekend, or even the satisfaction of restoring a motorcycle from scratch as a hobby, there are lots of positive benefits from owning a motorcycle.

But one surprising perk is the boost to your health which motorcycle ownership can provide. From getting you into the great outdoors to boosting your social circle, there’s a lot to be gained from owning a motorcycle, especially through the local communities that tend to develop.

Having a sense of community and friendship is important in our lives, as sadly, suicide is the biggest killer of men aged under 45, with 75% of all suicides being male according to The Calm Zone.

Whilst motorcycles can be ridden by males or females, any boost to men’s mental health is a huge welcome to help fight such devastating statistics. Therefore, owning a motorcycle can have some unexpected boosts to your overall health, as well as being a great pastime.

In no particular order, here are 3 ways riding a motorcycle can actually improve your wellbeing:

It can help beat stress

If you are feeling stressed, there’s nothing quite like getting out on the open road on your motorcycle to release tension, and make you forget your worries. Just make sure you have a good motorbike insurance policy in place to prevent you worrying about the financial implications should an accident occur, because they do.

What’s more, many motorcycle riders will venture into the countryside and pitch up at various beauty spots for lunch, or even to meet with other riders. It not only gets you out into areas you wouldn’t normally venture but is great for boosting your social circle, too.

Researchers at UCLA conducted a study on the relationship motorcycles have on the brain, and agreed that they can be a very positive outcome on mental health. They found that after just 20 minutes of riding a motorcycle, hormonal bio markers of stress were reduced by 28%. There was also a reduction of cortisol levels, which is important as a sustained level of cortisol (our fight or flight response) can lead to anxiety, headaches, heart attacks, memory problems, insomnia and many other symptoms, according to WebMD.

Helps you to make new friends

The biking community is notoriously tight-knit, and bikers themselves liken it to a brotherhood. There are various biker events which happen throughout the year, including meetups and planned cycles to different locations. It can be a great way to meet new people who share the same interests, making lots of new friends along the way.

Having friends is important to our wellbeing, as it helps fend off depression and anxiety, as well as other health conditions. We need plenty of social interaction to feel at our best, and the beauty about owning a motorcycle is it gets you out into the fresh air. In fact, many bikers describe other bikers not as friends but as family, because the bond they make is so close.

Therefore, owning a motorcycle can create lots of new connections that you would never have made otherwise. This is important for retired men in particular, who may no longer see the usual circle of friends in their daily job anymore. However, it can be beneficial to men of all ages, too. The more friends we make in life, the happier we become – especially if we are doing something we enjoy at the same time.

Provides you with a positive outlet to focus on

Life can get stressful and hectic for all sorts of reasons. There are many ways in which we can unwind from this stress, but how many of these outlets – such as heavy drinking – are actually causing us more problems instead?

In response to an article by RevZilla entitled “Is riding a motorcycle a form of therapy?”, one commenter said: “For many years in a stressful high pressure job, my 45 minute ride home every day on country back roads was my primary way to unwind.” They added: “I think part of it also is the preparation that is required in these activities that assists in separating us from the days concerns.

“Even the simple preparation for a ride, jacket, gloves, helmet, check the weather etc. causes us to shift gears mentally.”

Riding a motorcycle is different than driving a car. It requires your entire focus, and there’s no passenger sat next to you to chat to, so you must concentrate not on your problems but on the bike and the road ahead. This in itself can be a great form of therapy, especially if you are going through a tough time.

Therefore, owning a motorcycle can really help lift your spirits, as well as taking the focus away from what is weighing you down in your regular life.