I have only been mountain biking a handful of times, and it is a workout like no other.
So today I would like to share with you some information about mountain biking from someone who is a veteran MTBer and knows way more about the sport than I do! Maybe you’ve thought about adding mountain biking into your life. Well, here are 5 reasons why you should!
5 Unexpected Health Benefits of Mountain Biking
By Amanda Wilks
Whenever a form of exercise is brought up for review in the wake of new discoveries in the world of staying fit and finding the best ways to bolster your health by staying active, mountain biking shouldn’t be much of a surprise on any health nut’s list. After all, it’s a fairly easy sport to get into that works out the majority of muscle groups in one’s body while also affording a chance to see the great outdoors and escape the doldrums of another afternoon in the gym.
If you’re ever shied away from biking, now’s a good time to reevaluate why you were driven away in the first place. Many a potential cyclist might point to concerns about cost but getting onto a bike and going for a ride is more affordable than buying any sort of home gym setup. Frankly, it may be more affordable than buying even a single exercise machine. As long as you feel up to accepting days with sore legs and the occasional tumble as you feel out your limits, there’s nothing keeping you from the nearest trail as long as you find the best mountain bike under 300 dollars, a sturdy helmet and enough water to keep you hydrated on your ride.
Should that not be enough to motivate you, check out these surprising health benefits you could reap tomorrow if you hop on a bike and go for a ride.
1.You’ll Burn Fat More Efficiently
How you lose weight sometimes has more to do with your metabolic rate than something as simple as how hard you exert yourself during a ride. Not only will you boost your metabolic rate during your ride, studies have shown you may burn fat more effectively for several hours afterwards.
The reasons behind your body’s shift in efficiency is still under scrutiny, but anyone with a history of struggling with weight loss can find some immediate markers of success through some pedal pushing.
2.The Outdoors Are Good for You
Your parents may have been onto something when they kept telling you to go outside and play for a few hours.
Exercising outdoors and just being in nature both have profound benefits on your mental state ranging from boosted mood to inspiring greater creative leaps and could even help your emotions improve.
Going for a bike ride rolls the benefits of spending time outside with the additional upside of breaking out of your average workout routine, where bland white walls in a workout facility may not inspire you to hurry back. The local trail, on the other hand, is often far more inviting.
3.It’s A Full-Body Workout
When thinking on the major muscle groups that are exercised during a bike ride it’s not uncommon to assume the legs get almost all of the benefit.
While it is true that you’re going to work your calves, thighs and glutes through mountain biking you’ll also find upper body benefits ranging from the obvious to the slightly subtler.
For instance, stabilizing yourself over rough terrain and working in tandem with your bike to keep it level requires upper body strength that targets your arms, while the simple act of staying upright and balancing properly can work your core more than you might realize.
4.Bike Rides Foster Recovery
Don’t be surprised if exercise seems to inherently relate to breaking your body down to make it stronger in the future. It’s certainly true that a strenuous bike ride will wear you down while also affording growth in both body and mind.
Surprisingly, bike rides can actually help joint pain and osteoarthritis on top of improving cardiovascular health and muscle function, which are all extremely helpful for those in need of a health boost that medicine can’t quite clear on its own.
5.With Exercise Comes Better Sleep
Ever had trouble drifting off after a long day of sitting in a cubicle or working at a desk? That’s not terribly surprising and the answer could be as simple as going outside for a ride. Not only can biking reduce cortisol, a hormone that can inhibit sleep, you’ll also be exposed to the sun and all of the benefits vitamin D provides.
Exposure to sunshine also helps promote healthy circadian rhythms in those who have trouble with a standard day/night sleep cycle, so soak up some sun and see if it helps you drift off a little easier in the evening. Just don’t neglect the sunscreen!
Taking up mountain biking is just one of many options when it comes to bolstering your health and exercising your entire body, but it confers more than just physical benefits.
Spending time outside with your mind free to wander as your body is strengthened can be just the cure for long stretches of mind-stifling boredom in an office job and could boost your mental state and creativity to new heights. All you need is a bike and the will to ride it.