Mountain biking is getting more popular. This is a good thing, as it is actually really good for you. Yes there are some dangers involved, but there are loads of mountain biking health benefits that outweigh the risks. It is also brilliant fun, so once you have put on your helmet and got out there, you will enjoy the following mountain biking health benefits.
1. Good for your heart
Exercising regularly improves your cardiovascular fitness. If you ride 20 miles per week, you half your risk of heart disease. This is because when you are riding your mountain bike, you use large muscle groups. These need lots of oxygen, so it makes your heart work steadily, improving its fitness.
2. Low Impact
Unless you are doing massive jumps, mountain biking for most people is a low impact sport. This means that your joints don’t get too stressed from impacts, like they would during a run. Low impact sports have less risk of injury to your joints.
Note: This does not include the impact you get from falling off your bike.
3. Great for stress relief
When you are smashing the trails, all the things that cause stress in your life are all forgotten about. This is because you are focussed on what you are doing and you are totally distracted from your problems. While mountain. biking, your body releases endorphins. These make you feel good and give you more energy. The other critical thing that gets released on to your body is serotonin. This stuff prevents stress and anxiety.
Mountain biking also benefits your self esteem. As you start to progress, you start to feel good about yourself. This helps with your general confidence too.
4. Proper Workout
Mountain biking works your whole body, it isn’t just about your legs. A strong core gives your legs a good platform to pedal from, it also helps you to react to technical terrain.
Your arms and chest are working all the time while mountain biking. Think of a really technical trail and your front wheel is going up and down constantly. Your arms and chest are controlling all that movement. So one of the mountain biking health benefits, is that you will save money on going to the gym.
5. Less Risk of Disease
Did you know that regular moderate exercise improves your immune system? Well it does, and it has been proven by people in white coats. A study carried out at the University of North Carolina determined that half an hour of cycling five times per week had half as many sick days as those that sit around all day.
6. Mountain Biking Makes you Clever
You might not think it, if you have found spelling mistakes on this site. But, it has been found in a study by Illinois University that improving your cardiovascular health, improves your brain health too. This is because riding your bike improves blood flow to your brain, which activates receptors. This is why exercise helps to prevent Alzheimers.
7. Get a Good Night's Sleep
Mountain biking is pretty tiring, but it also leads to regenerative sleep when it comes to putting your jim jams on. Being out in the fresh air and sunshine, tops up your vitamin D and maintains your natural circadian sleep/wake cycle. This makes it easier to sleep.
8. Balance and Co-ordination
The variation of terrain you encounter while mountain biking, means you have to constantly react and adjust your body. This imporves strengthens the neural pathways in your brain. Your brain, senses, muscles and nervous system are all needed for your balance and co-ordination. If you can keep all this working well, you will stave off age related disabilities and reduce your chance of falling over and hurting yourself.
9. The Great Outdoors
Getting in to the great outdoors is great and even better on a bike. I live in the French alps and I can tell you, it is pretty special here. In the summer, it is mountain bike heaven. It can be as intense or as chiller’s out as you want. Being out in the mountains and forests has a totally different effect on people than a city does. You feel more relaxed and less stressed.
10. Very Social
Social interactions keep you happy. And when you have a group of mates with a shared interest, you are on to a winner. Mountain biking is a very social sport, I very rarely ride alone. Sharing your passion with likeminded people is brilliant and you meet others along the way. It is also great to have a beer with them all after a ride too.
Instead of watching the TV or playing computer games, dust off your bike and go for a ride. There are lots of mountain biking health benefits that will improve your life and keep you enjoying life for longer.