Benefits of Mountain Biking: Health, Mental and Riding

Mountain biking is a popular outdoor recreational activity that has countless benefits for both your physical health and psychological well being. It is a sport that involves being out in nature which is mind soothing and good for stress management. Above all one reaps the benefits of a total body workout while engaging the mind in a relaxing encounter with nature.

Mountain biking has endless benefits and is an activity everyone can get involved in, regardless of gender or age. Riding is great for fitness and mental wellness and can be great for people with responsibilities that involve critical decisions.

This article talks about the benefits of mountain biking and focuses on both the health and psychological benefits that one gains from getting started with mountain biking.

1) Health BenefitsCardio – Weight Loss
2) Mental BenefitsOutdoors – Social
3) Riding BenefitsSkills – Mechanics

1. Health Benefits of Mountain Biking

  • Full Body Workout
  • Fun While getting fit
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health
  • Better for your Joints
  • Improves Coordination and Balance
  • Strengthens Lungs
  • Improves Intellectual Ability
  • Great Weight Loss Activity
  • Speeds up Metabolism

Full Body Workout

Mountain biking is an activity that puts all the muscle groups in the body into work. Starting with the legs, back and arm muscles, mountain biking puts every inch of these muscle groups into a full workout.

This makes your entire body stronger and leaner, which ultimately makes one fit. A Total body workout is essential when trying to get in shape and increase stamina and strength.  I don’t know about you, but having a workout that gets everything done in one shot in a huge bonus.

Full Body Workout

Fun While Getting Fit

Mountain biking is one activity that involves fun while keeping fit. Not many activities can say the same.

Riding a bike in nature not only keeps the body in check but also exposes one to nature and natural activities which can be fun.

It involves a change of environment, unlike other exercises that involve the same environment for a prolonged period of time which eventually gets boring. It is easy to quit the gym due to a similar environment and continued repetition.

Mountain biking is fun and involves an environmental change that will keep you interested so you workout without thinking about it.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Exercising regularly is known to improve cardiovascular activities. Mountain biking makes the heart muscles stronger and healthier for these reasons.

Mountain biking involves a lot of muscle workout, which necessitates the body to use up more oxygen. This makes the heart work more in an attempt to carry enough oxygen to the your muscles.

This can reduce the risk of heart diseases by almost half. Not a bad result for a fun activity you can do anytime.

Heart Health

Better for your Joints

Being a low impact sport, mountain biking is better for the joints. It puts less stress on the joints unlike other aerobic activities such as running or jogging which pretty much hurt everything like your ankles, knees, and hips due to the hard impact of the body with the ground.

Pain is the last thing you want to deal with when you’re trying get yourself in shape. Stress on these joints is known to cause arthritis after time.

Mountain biking, however, is easy on the joints. It allows one to keep joints flexible while taking care not to harm them in any way by being way more low impact.

Improves Coordination and Balance

Mountain biking requires more than one body part to happen. It involves your hands, feet, eyes and the mind.

Balancing is essential while riding your mountain biking, and this requires the coordination of different body responses. This makes the body more coordinated when not riding, and turn one into a sharp and active person even in other fields.

Coordination is important for a number of other activities and mountain biking helps improve it. One reaps the benefits of this even in the workplace, where it is essential to keep focused and sharp.

Balance Benefit of Mountain Biking

Strengthens Lungs

Lungs are vital organs to the body as they are responsible for feeding all the tissue in your body oxygen.

Mountain biking, like other exercising activities, burns up a lot of calories and hence requires a lot of oxygen. The rate of breathing increases when mountain biking and this means a high intake of air. This strengthens the lung muscles and they become stronger and slightly bigger, improving gaseous intake and oxygen supply to the body.

Improves Intellectual Ability

Little known too many, mountain biking boosts Intellectual abilities. This is essentially due to the increased oxygen intake that is experienced during the activity.

Higher oxygen supply to the brain means more brain activity, and improves the brain’s ability to fight off diseases that lead to stroke and dementia.

In addition, it is stress relieving and helps the mind clear off distractions while relieving stress. One is less likely to be stressed out or depressed if they go mountain biking as it takes your mind off the negatives.

It helps keep the mind focused and speed up decision making.  It trains the mind to overcome hurdles and barriers that cloud judgment, making decision making easier and much faster than before.

Brain Power Benefit

Great Weight Loss Activity

Regular biking is essential for burning fat and increasing muscle activity. This means that riding is one of the best activities for weight loss. Burning up a few hundred calories and fat can be achieved if one sticks to riding regularly.

Mountain biking is an easy and painless way of weight loss. Regular and slow riding is capable of making the body shed a few pounds off, and this allows you to lose weight and keep fit.

Speeds up Metabolism

Mountain biking speeds up your metabolism, and this is one of the reasons why weight loss is much easier. Like other forms of exercise, riding increases the metabolism and reduces instances of exhaustion and fatigue, giving the body more energy and a clearer mind.

This makes the body feel healthier and more energized with hormones and neurotransmitters operating at optimal levels. This makes it an activity suitable for all ages to enjoy and boost their metabolism levels with less discomfort then running.

2. Psychological Benefits of Mountain Biking

  • Enjoy Outside Nature
  • Lower Cortisol Levels
  • Helps Improve the sleep cycle
  • Confidence Builder
  • Social Benefits

Enjoy Outside Nature

Turning on to psychological benefits, mountain biking is an activity that involves nature. With most of us living in towns and cities, it is rare for one to see and experience nature.

Riding in nature allows one to enjoy fresh air, the smell of trees and other elements in nature. A connection to nature and the earth is essential, and it helps relieve stress that is jammed up from much exposure to city life.

It is easy to forget and let go of things that often stress one out such as responsibilities and work while riding out in the countryside. Cool fresh air, the sight of nature and elements in nature is breathtaking and allows one to take a break from life to enjoy all nature has to offer. We all need to slow down and realize what’s important sometimes.

Nature Benefit of Mountain Biking

Lower Cortisol Levels

Mountain biking is an ideal activity in stress management and reduction. The health benefits and mental benefits help lower cortisol levels which controls your stress. It forces the mind to focus on the activity of riding and involvement in nature, taking the mind off the stressing factors.

In addition, the increased oxygen levels to the brain help in making things clearer while aiding in decision making thus relieving stress. Riding takes the mind off all that stuff and helps lighten the mood. More focus is given to nature and the activity itself, lightening the mood and taking the mind off the all the stressing factors that might be going on. More on the psychological benefits from redbull here.

Helps Improve the Sleep Cycle

Mountain biking is an exhausting activity. It involves working out a number of muscles and this means more exhaustion to the body. An exhausted body tends to sleep more heavily and peaceful than an exhausted one.

With a mind clear of distractions, and hormones flowing through the body better, it is easier to get sleep after riding. This helps improve the sleep cycle, leading to a deeper and more peaceful sleep. Sleep in essential for a healthy body functionality, and mountain biking helps improve this.

Sleep Benefit of Mountain Biking

Confidence Builder

Getting involved with mountain biking tends to make one healthier, fitter and more coordinated. All this tends to boost one’s self-confidence.

With one looking better physically and being better mentally, one has the confidence to try other things in life as they feel bolder and much better suited to deal with life. This leads to success and more achievements in other areas of life.

Social Benefits

Engaging in mountain biking leads to a common interest with a number of people, and this is an easy way to make friends. With a number of enthusiasts in this field, it is easier to find a common ground to start a conversation and thus make new friends.

Just a simple conversation with one rider will have a whole community of riders talking and communicating, and this often ends up with one finding out more about others and making friends in the process.

Group Riding Benefit of Mountain Biking

3. Riding Benefits Of Mountain Biking

  • Mountain Biking Education
  • Technical Skills
  • Mechanical Skills

Mountain Biking Education

One huge benefit you will get from Mountain Biking is learning about this awesome hobby.

Once you start you will find yourself learning something new every time out riding. It could be something about what grips you like to what trails and locations are your favorite. The more involved you get the more you will seek to know.

Technical Skills

Once you get experience out in the trails you will learn how to handle your bike better. You might find what gears work better for you when your in certain trails or going through a rock garden.

Learning your bikes shifting ability will improve your performance and experience. Picking the right path can be challenging but rewarding. I’m referring to the obstacles you will have to maneuver around in certain trails. With experience you will see the better paths to choose.

Mechanical Skills

Part of Mountain Biking is knowing how they work. You don’t have to know how to fix everything but at least know how to change a tire tube if necessary.

Having the right equipment can be key during a breakdown. Getting stuck with a flat tire is no fun and can ruin the fun. The more you do it the less of an inconvenience it will be.

Mechanical Benefit

Better Mountain Biker

Not only does riding make you better physically and mentally.  You will also become more involved with the sport and want to become a better rider. 

In the beginning you might be biking to just lose weight or clear your mind but once you start you might catch the bug.  Eventually you will tackle different challenges from riding different terrain or longer distances.  This will change the way you ride as you grow as a Mountain Biker.

Conclusion

This list could go on with so many benefits involved with Mountain Biking.  From physical, mental and technical we couldn’t ask for a better hobby or sport. We all need something to clear our heads and why not let it be something that accomplishes much more. 

Getting started could be easier than you think.  Find a bike and get started whether it’s used or you want to buy and new one. Once you learn the basics you can move forward with a better bike and equipment.  Check this out for more information on getting started.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo… so you can pin it to your Mountain Bike Board!!