Being outdoors in the mountains can have a positive affect on some people. A test study being run between Napier University in conjunction with Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) seeks to prove this correlation with mental health.
Ten participants travelled to Glentress, the world renowned mountain biking facility near Peebles to take part. Having visited Glentress recently I couldn’t think of a more perfect place. A wide range of mountain bike tracks help to provide technical routes for all different levels of ability, keeping access open to all. I really enjoyed feeling the benefit of detaching from the stress of every day working life by concentrating on the trails in front of me.
An excellent level of services on offer allow mountain bike riders to enjoy a warm shower or coffee after their route. The perfect way to relax and unwind after a tiring but rewarding day in the hills surrounding Peebles. If you haven’t visited it already I would recommend checking out Glentress. New visitors will be blown away by the high quality of the trails. It’s clear to see why cyclists travel from all over the world to compete here and show off their skills.
Testing times for mental health
Anyone can go through tough times in their life. Even the people you think are the strongest can hit rock bottom and need to take time out to rebuild or redesign. Mountain biking can be a part of that recovery and self discovery process in a path to stronger mental wellbeing and resiliency.
The pilot programme being held by DMBinS is in the evaluation phase after its test run in Autumn of last year. I wish the participants and those involved in the project every success. Should a positive outcome be demonstrated by the pilot there is a possibility of a Scotland wide roll out and with it the chance to help more people struggling with their mental health.
Scotland has some of the most fantastic scenery on the planet. Your average person however may never even visit the mountains and glens from the cities of the central belt, let along exercise in them regularly. Wider roll out of a similar scheme would help to spread knowledge of the where to explore and what kind of activities would best suit individual fitness levels. It will be interesting to see the results of the study when available and perhaps be involved in taking the initiative to a national level in the aid of mental health.