Mountain biking is one of the most popular recreational outdoor activities for the summer. The official statistics say that over 40 million people mountain bike in the United States alone.
Nearly 70% of the American adults are either overweight or obese which puts them at higher risk for many health problems including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. All that has been said mountain biking could be fun, and very exciting but at the same time beneficial for your health.
Having a good and reliable but at the same time cheap mountain bike is crucial. You can check our top picks in this comprehensive blog post – The Best Mountain Bikes Under $500.
Let’s start with the list already:
10 Proven Health Benefits of Mountain Biking
1.Improved Heart Health
Mountain biking is just great for your heart. Regular exercise improves cardiovascular fitness and lowers blood pressure. As we know mountain biking is an aerobic activity which means that your heart, blood vessels, and lungs all get a workout. A Danish study conducted over 14 years with 30,000 people aged 20 to 93 years found that regular cycling protected people from heart disease.
2.Better Night Sleep
You will definitely sleep much better at night if you regularly mountain bike. Physical activity contributes to restful sleep in many ways. One of the reasons is that you feel tired and worn out after a good ride in the mountain. Also, mountain biking exposes you to daylight which helps to maintain the body’s natural circadian wake/sleep cycle.
3.Reduced Stress Levels
Mountain biking is one of the best ways to reduce the negative aspects of stress. Exercise can be a very effective stress management tool. It can release tension and anxiety and reduce the levels of stress. Cycling in the mountains will release natural endorphins and this will make you feel good. Building confidence in the new skills you gain will also give you confidence and self-esteem.
We can all thank our moms and dads for teaching us to take off the training wheels. One of the biggest health benefits of mountain biking is that it is a low-impact workout. The chance of damaging the joints is lower than almost any other aerobic activities. Also, cycling is one of the so-called non-load bearing sports.
This means that the act of sitting is taking pressure off of your joints and reduces the risk of injuring them. At the same time, you can enjoy all the other benefits of mountain biking.
5.Better Body Balance
Mountain biking requires good balance and coordination. These are skills that can be developed like any other by practicing. Along with better body balance and coordination, you will develop many more skills like good reaction time, agility, power, and speed.
Learning how to stay steady and secure on the mountain bike will keep you from crashing and also strengthens neural pathways and reinforces muscle memory. The body balance and coordination use all the resources of the brain, senses, muscles and nervous system.
6.Decreased Risk of Diseases
Strengthening your immune system is another great health benefit of mountain biking. Regular moderate physical activity will keep you away from diseases and will keep you healthy. One study made by the University of North Carolina found that people who cycle for around 30 minutes, 5 days a week take much fewer days off of work than their sedentary counterparts.
Mountain biking is the perfect social outdoor activity. You can go with your mates or maybe you can join a club or some social group for biking. You can even buy an awesome tandem bike and hit the road with your soulmate or bestie. Having good social interactions makes you happier which on other hand makes you healthier. Simple as that.
8.Breathing Fresh Air
Breath of fresh air riding through the forest is much better for your health than staying in the polluted city. The cool crisp mountain air will improve your quality of life. The mountain air has some unexpected health benefits as well – climatotherapy. Spending time in a different, cleaner, better climate has helped millions of people around the world.
The mountain air helps in strengthening the immune system. It can also improve your metabolism. It is well known that many world-class athletes train at high altitudes.
9. You Will Look Better – The Whole Body Workout!
Mountain biking uses the muscles of the whole body. You will build strong legs, thighs, and calves. All the required balance will build your abdominal and core muscles as well. Your hands will also benefit when you turn and maneuver between the rocks.
All these will result in a better-looking body after a few seasons of mountain biking.
10.Connection With Nature!
You will make a good connection with nature if you mountain bike regularly. The external awareness that builds from nature connection will often lead to changes in the internal awareness of people causing them to make choices of lifestyle and attitude that are necessary to lower the overall ecological footprint of them, their families and their communities.
In other words, you will become a better person as well. So let’s mount our bikes on the SUVs and hit the road to the mountains.
And forget that hydration on the mountain bike is very important and you should drink 1-liter water per hour cycling. You can always use a cycling water bottle or a hydration pack for mountain biking!