Dave Henly is on a mission to turn more of the world into cyclists. By providing reviews and discussing scientific studies on Dave's Cheap Bikes, Dave hopes that more people see cycling as an affordable choice for optimal fitness.

Ever have those days where your brain feels like it is lagging? Ever wish that you could have a higher IQ?

Neuroscience is one of the burgeoning fields of research. There is still so much that we do not understand about the inner-workings of the brain. One of the big questions we have is "Is intelligence fixed, or can it be improved?"

There is some research that points to brain structure as a major player in overall smartness, adaptability to the environment and the ability to learn new things. For example, they've determined that some people are better at learning to play an instrument than others and that a large portion of that is genetically determined. Skills like the ability to accurately recognize (or sing) a specific note have been traced to specific sequences of the chromosome.

However, all genes are only as helpful when they are being expressed. Many of us have phenomenal genetics. However, our sedentary lives with poor diets mean that our body is too busy repairing itself to fully express these genes.

Furthermore, it is becoming apparent that regular fitness is the key underpinning for optimal brain performance.

While you could choose running or swimming or any other vigorous cardio activity to get these benefits, we're mostly focusing on studies that use cycling as a basis for their data.

The reason for this is that most laboratories use stationary bikes as an easy-to-use, low-impact, exercise that delivers consistent data.

It also turns out that bikes are an ideal machine for converting normal brains into superhuman brains.

Full disclosure, the goal of this article is to inspire you. To make you go "whoa! I had no idea that my body could be this amazing! I want to be superhuman, so I'm going to work out more!"

Cycling Makes Your Brain Faster

Improves Your Memory Recall, Reasoning And Planning

In a recent study performed by the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, they tested subjects after performing a 30-minute exercise on their bikes.

The goal was to see how cardio improved, memory recall, the ability to reason, and a test subjects ability to make plans.

As it turns out, the 30-minute cycling session improved all of these areas.

Which is an important point. It turns out that 30 minutes on the bike makes you better at planning your future.

However, it also gave the test subjects the super-human ability to take the tests faster.

So the cyclists earned back some of their time they invested on the bike by being able to spend less time on these brain-intensive tasks.

Feeling slow in the middle of the day? Maybe what you need is a thirty-minute bike ride.

Cycling Is “Legal Marijuana”

As it turns out, you don't need drugs to get high. Your body can do it all on its own. No weed required.

When you cycle, your body produces anandamide, which is a natural cannabinoid.

We often talk about a "runner's high" or "exercise high", but the benefits go much deeper than temporarily making your brain feel good.

It turns out that cycling on a weekly basis can reverse depression. With your doctor's oversight, you can replace the expensive pills (and all of their side effects) with a regular bike ride.

Additionally, there may be a specific benefit for ADHD patients to have greater focus and brain control as a result of a regular bike ride. It's like a natural Ritalin.

Maybe we need to install more bike desks in the classroom.

A Cure For Parkinson's?

In one of the neatest research projects, it turns out that aggressive exercise can temporarily stop the shaking that accompanies Parkinson's.

This study is challenging because, due to the shaking, most patients are hesitant to get on a bicycle.

Furthermore, many of these subjects pedal very slowly, which makes it difficult to keep the bike upright.

However, when they put these patients on a tandem bike and forced them to pedal at 80 RPMs or better, it unlocked their brains and dramatically decreased the shaking.

Furthermore, it can restore function to lost limbs. Patients who have limited mobility or have lost capacity in a leg or arm, begin discovering that that function is restored after several weeks of cycling.

In some cases, the residual benefits of a workout program will stay with the patient for up to 8 weeks after the workout is discontinued.

While these patients aren't throwing their pills away, they are discovering that regular, intense, exercise is enhancing the performance of the medication they are taking and making it more effective.

Cycling Reverses Dementia

This might be one of the most exciting benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise. There currently isn't a cure for Alzheimer's disease (one of the most well-known versions of dementia), and the current medication only has limited benefits.

A Diagnosis of dementia is a confirmed diagnosis of forgetting the things you love the most.

In the October 2016 article of Neurology, a study looked at 70 elderly patients who were suffering from cognitive decline. In this study, half of them were assigned to a 1-hour workout three times a week.

At the end of the 6-month period, the test subjects who exercised saw a small increase in their cognitive abilities. While this isn't likely to be as exciting for our readers, when you understand that this disease is guaranteed to progress, any improvement is a noteworthy accomplishment.

Picking up cycling at any age and making it a regular part of the work-week is proven to boost brain-derived neurotrophic factors -- the chemicals that promote brain growth.

Exercise has been described as "heavy lifting for the brain."

So, frustrated by a foggy brain? Hop on that bike and pedal around the block.

You are just a few pedal strokes away from being Einstein.

Just don't forget your helmet. Cycling is the leading cause of head injuries in the World.

Author's Bio: 

Author, Freelance writer