Mountain Biking Benefits (Improve Your Overall Health)

Explore 10 Mountain Biking Benefits

If you are interested in mountain biking benefits, then I’d have to assume three things about you:

1. You are health conscious, 2.Enjoy adventure, 3. Love the outdoors.

Am I right?

Ok maybe not, but surely you can relate to at least one of those things!

Let me start off by telling you, mountain biking has significant health benefits, and not just physical ones.

That’s right, mountain biking has numerous benefits, such as improving your cardiovascular system and problem solving skills, it even boosts your self confidence!

10 Mountain Biking Benefits

mountain biking benefits

1. Improves Heart Health

Cardiovascular diseases include stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack.

Regular mountain biking stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Mountain biking strengthens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulse, and reduces your blood fat levels.

Interestingly, new research has also shown that people who cycle to work have two to three times less exposure to pollution than car commuters, so their lung function rate lowered.


2. Reduces Chances of Diabetes

According to Diabetes.org in 2018 approximately 34.2 million Americans had diabetes, that’s 10.5% of the population.

Lack of physical activity is to blame and is the major reason why people develop this condition.

Large scale research in Finland found that people who cycle for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40 per cent lower chance of developing diabetes.


3. Decreases Stress


Mountain biking has a ton of physical benefits this we already know, but the activity also plays a major role in a person’s emotional well-being.

According to a 2007 study by Dr. Andrew Lepp at Kent State University, outdoor activities including mountain biking, decrease stress, raise self-esteem, and provides people with a sense of challenge and adventure.


4. Increased Brain Power

Top researchers from Illinois University, found a whopping 5% improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% on mental tests.

This is pretty much because new brain cells are being built in the hippocampus. “It boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which fires and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” Professor Arthur Kramer said.

Throughout the world many professionals and executives use mountain biking benefits to sharpen their brains to come up with creative ideas to solve problems.


5. Better Sleep

There’s nothing more I love than mountain biking the whole day only to return home to an amazing bed. Mountain biking ultimately leads to improved regenerative sleep.

Mountain biking decreases cortisol, a hormone that essentially keeps us awake at night. Being outdoors exposes you to daylight which helps to maintain the body’s natural circadian sleep/wake cycle, not to mention raising your body’s production of vitamin D.

Keep in mind, if you are out riding your bike late in the day, it may have the opposite effect. Mountain biking also releases a lot of endorphins that can keep you awake. You need time for these chemicals to settle before starting to feel tired.


6. Social Benefits

Happiness Psychology has shown that healthy relationships and social interactions are the absolute key to being happy and finding meaning in life.

Mountain biking is known to be quite social, clubs and groups often get out and ride together.

Outdoor activities in general offer the opportunity to build personal bonds and make new friends who enjoy nature/the same activities you do.


7. Improved Balance and Coordination

As we age our coordination and balance naturally deteriorate. Unlike the monotonous action of running along on a treadmill, mountain biking is a dynamic activity that requires the rider to constantly adjust to all sorts of varying terrain.

The constant focus and fluctuation of muscle groups strengthens your neural pathways and reinforces muscle memory.

Balance and coordination naturally require the combined resources of our brains, muscles, and nervous system. This combinations fights of disability from aging and keeps your mind sharp.


8. Optimizes Fat Burning

During an exercise such as mountain biking, your leg muscles require an increased amount of energy. In order for your body to be capable of producing this energy, the body breaks down both carbohydrates and fats.

According to an article published in January 2018 by Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the breakdown of fats for energy, occurs when exercising at intensities 45 to 65 percent of your VO2max (the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise.

If you exceed these intensities, your body moves toward burning more carbohydrates.


9. Less Stress on Joints

Mountain biking in general, is a low impact sport for your joints (not like running). So much so that physios often recommend their patients to take up cycling during their recovery period.
 
The simple of act of sitting on your bicycle take the pressure off your joints and reduces the chance of injury.
 
This makes mountain biking the perfect activity for people with sensitive joints or people on the road to recovery from some sort of knee injury.
 
(Please note mountain biking can also be a high impact activity, this all depends on your route and intensity of cycling.)


10. Increased Metabolism

Last but not least, an increased metabolism is one of many mountain biking benefits. A few of the benefits of an increased metabolism are a lesser feeling of exhaustion, sharper thinking, and an overall feeling of well being.

Frequent mountain biking will make you feel more energized and healthier. A healthy metabolism will also benefit your hormones and neurotransmitters. This will create a cycle of health that continues even after you’ve packed the bike away for the evening.


5 Mountain Biking Tips for Beginners

If you are interested in mountain biking benefits, then there’s no doubt you are interested in mountain biking as an activity. I’m going to list 5 tips that will help you along on your journey to enjoying this outdoor activity to the fullest!

1. Go easy on the breaks

At some point, (especially when you pick up enough speed) you will be tempted to squeeze full force on both of your breaks. Word of advice, don’t.

Mountain bikes, particularly ones with disc brakes are powerful enough that you do not need to apply too much pressure to them. Using one or two fingers will be ample to slow yourself down.

2. Use all the gears

Don’t be afraid to use all those gears. Most off road trails have a constant fluctuating gradient, sometimes steep sometimes not. By shifting your gears as you approach a hill you’ll be able to keep the momentum. Which incase you don’t already know is your best friend. 🙂

3. Wear a helmet

This is definitely not one of my strong suits, I’ve always neglected wearing helmets. But trust me, if you ever get into a crash, you will thank your lucky stars that you were wearing one (I learned the hard way). Protect your brain no matter what.

Three helmets I really recommend are:

4. Stay loose

It’s your mountain bikes job to absorb the majority of rough terrain. Your job is to allow your bike to do its job. That means keeping your body loose, hover your butt above your saddle when riding over tree roots and rocks, let those knees become spring-like.

5. Target fixation

If you stare directly at that rock you so badly want to avoid you’re most likely going to ride right into it. It’s called target fixation. Your bike goes where your eyes are directing it to go.

Instead look past obstacles to where you actually want to go, try to look as far down the trail as possible.


Feel free to share your next mountain biking adventure in the comments section below, I am always looking for new trails to ride!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links throughout this article are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking the link.

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