Mountain biking is an exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping activity enjoyed by millions of sports enthusiasts throughout the United States. According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, approximately 40 million people hit the trails yearly, making mountain biking one of America’s most popular outdoor recreational sports.
In today’s world, where public health concerns have become a significant issue for modern society, it is essential to engage in daily exercise. Mountain biking is an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind activity that helps improve cardiovascular fitness and general health while, at the same time, contributing to your mental well-being by surrounding you with nature. Mountain biking allows you to enjoy the great outdoors while receiving the maximum health benefits of regular physical activity.
Health Benefits of Mountain Biking
1. Reduce Risk of Diseases
Some interesting facts about mountain biking were recently revealed in a study by academics at the University of North Carolina. The study found that those who cycled for 30 minutes 5 days a week had 50% fewer sick days than their inactive peers.
Likewise, research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found that women who engaged in regular physical activity, such as cycling to work, had a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
2. Improve Heart Health
The data from numerous studies prove that an individual’s level of cardiovascular fitness improves with regular exercise. According to a study by the British Medical Association, riding a bike at least 20 miles each week increases your cardiovascular fitness and reduces your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
When mountain biking, you’re using a lot of muscles that need a significant amount of oxygen. This means that your heart has to contract and expand while it pumps blood to your muscles, and these cardiac contractions can result in a three to seven percent improvement in cardiovascular health. In short, mountain biking is an excellent exercise that raises cardiovascular fitness.
3. Decrease Anxiety and Enhance Mood
The physical challenges of mountain biking trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s happy chemicals and a source of increased energy. Furthermore, serotonin, a key chemical in the brain that aids in preventing depression and anxiety, is also released by physical activity.
Riding a challenging single track requires a high degree of concentration, similar to meditation. One of the benefits of mountain biking is that it helps you unwind and cope with the stresses of daily life by diverting your attention away from negative ideas or emotions.
4. Lessen Impact on the Joints
When compared to other forms of aerobic exercises, like jogging, mountain biking is a low-impact sport. As a non-load-bearing sport, one of the health benefits of mountain biking is that it has a decreased chance of injury to your joints because you are seated for most of the activity.
5. Better Equilibrium and Coordination
Compared to stationary exercises like running on a treadmill, mountain biking is far more dynamic and challenging. Maintaining control while riding a mountain bike prevents crashes and helps build muscle memory and neural pathways.
The brain, senses, muscles, and nervous system work together to allow balanced and coordinated movement. By keeping these systems in use as we age, we can delay the onset of age-related disabilities and lessen the chances of harmful falls.
6. Reduce Sleep Disturbance
Mountain biking is tiring; however, this is okay as it means your body will experience a deeper, more restorative sleep. Riding is an excellent way of reducing the wakefulness-inducing hormone cortisol. Since mountain biking is an outdoor activity, it increases the body’s generation of vitamin D and aids in the maintenance of the natural sleep/wake cycle.
However, it’s not a good idea to go for a brisk ride late in the day, as this can have the reverse effect of generating stimulating endorphins that can keep you awake.
7. Total-Body Workout
Ordinary cycling exercises and tones the calf muscles, but mountain biking exercises your entire body. Without a doubt, mountain biking for exercise is beneficial and it is one of the best ways to tone your butt and achieve ripped thighs, calves, and shins. Constantly relying on your core muscles to keep you upright is a great way to increase your concentration abilities and get in shape.
When mountain biking, your upper body is strengthened by climbing and navigating turns. Another advantage of mountain biking is that you exercise without having to shell out hundreds of dollars for a gym membership or hire a personal trainer.
8. Social Advantages
Studies in the relatively new discipline of happiness psychology have found that satisfying connections with others are crucial to experiencing fulfillment and discovering your life’s purpose. Many clubs and groups come together to go mountain biking as a form of social activity that brings people together. Meeting others who share your interests helps expand your social circle and develop meaningful friendships.
9. Spend Time in Nature
Escape the pressures of modern life, exercise, and surround yourself with nature by mountain biking! Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the solitude and beauty of the great outdoors. Studies have shown that spending time in nature improves relaxation and reduces stress, while urban environments can increase fear and anxiety. So, hit the trails, and not only will you experience the benefits of nature, but you may also develop a greater appreciation for the environment.
10. Boost Mental Performance
Unlock your brain’s full potential with mountain biking! Studies by Illinois University showed that a five percent improvement in cardiovascular fitness through cycling could result in a 15% increase in mental performance. This is due to increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain, promoting brain cell growth in the hippocampus and improving memory. Boost your creativity and problem-solving skills while getting a workout by hitting the trails.
Overall, mountain biking is an excellent activity for people of all ages and physical levels. For the many benefits it offers to one’s health and well-being, including better cardiovascular fitness, stronger muscles, lower stress levels, less wear and tear on the joints, and a more comprehensive workout, this outdoor sport is a must-try. If you want to reap the many health benefits of mountain biking, it’s time to hit the trails. Allow this article to serve as the spark that ignites your motivation to make this a standard component of your exercise regimen.
Start the year right by being healthy while enjoying the great outdoors at New Denver Lodge!
Mountain biking through an area with stunning scenery and abundant wildlife is a great way to relieve stress and enjoy nature after a day of hard work. While other people love backcountry skiing in British Columbia, mountain biking is rapidly becoming equally popular in the region. The pristine trails, fresh, clean air, and splendid scenery of British Columbia make it the perfect destination to enjoy an unforgettable mountain bike ride.