Most people know exercise is good for them. They may even go on a few walks around their neighbourhood or do something social like join a swim club, but what about the bike collecting cobwebs in your garage? Mountain biking is one of the best forms of full body exercise you can do. Here’s why –
- Less stress on joints
Cycling is low impact because it’s a non-load bearing sport, meaning that the act of sitting takes pressure off your joints and reduces the risk of injury. Mountain biking also builds, strengthens and tones your muscles so if you ride regularly, the muscles on your legs, thighs, gluts and hips will strengthen, helping to protect your hip and knee joints.
- Happier Heart Muscle
Steep climbs will challenge your cardiovascular strength and with a bit of perseverance the recovery periods of these rides will decrease over time and you will find it easier to finish longer and more challenging rides. As your ability to ride longer and further improves your heart will become stronger which decreases the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Better coordination
Mountain biking provides ever changing roads, routes and conditions that your body has to constantly adjust to. Staying steady and secure while riding over the various bumps, dips, hills and turns takes balance and coordination which improves over time. The strengthened neural pathways and muscle memory will improve balance and coordination which reduces the risk of injury from falls.
- Better sleep
You may feel tired and worn out after a ride, but it will lead to improved sleep at night. Riding for exercise decreases cortisol, a hormone that keeps us awake and being an outdoor activity, mountain biking exposes you to daylight which helps to maintain the body’s natural circadian sleep/wake cycle. And don’t forget about all that vitamin D you’ll be exposed to.
- Decrease Stress and Improve your Mood
Mountain biking is a form of moving meditation where you have to be focused on riding, being in the moment to avoid injuries and get the most out of the experience. You quickly forget about the negative things in life and instead, release happy endorphins which helps prevent depression and anxiety. Gaining new skills and improving your mountain biking abilities also helps to build confidence and self-esteem.
Being in nature changes your mood and general health as well. The environment around you has a huge impact on how you perceive the world and how you feel on any given day. In the middle of the of the city, you may feel overwhelmed, stressed and hurried. Once you get outside of that and immerse yourself in nature, stress levels are reduced, blood pressure decreases and your overall well-being improves.
Need more proof that mountain biking is good for you? Studies show that some of the happiest people are those having healthy, close relationships with family and friends. Mountain biking is a social sport as it encourages trailside chats with new friends and post-ride beers to debrief and talk about life. Mountain biking brings people together to create memorable experiences in beautiful places.
Ready to book onto one of our guided mountain bike trips? Click here for more information.