Looking out for your body can be a long, tiring process that often requires the motivation to get out of bed in the morning early or go to a gym after work. That’s why finding hobbies you enjoy that keeps you fit can be advantageous. The full-body workout is one of the many benefits of mountain biking. Looking into the other health benefits of mountain biking will have you stoked to get off the couch and onto the saddle with us.
An experienced mountain biker is built like a machine. Their bodies have to work incredibly hard to provide the strength, balance, coordination, and mental concentration to be the best. While this may not be you at first, it doesn’t mean mountain biking’s health benefits are out of reach.
As we dive into some of the health benefits of mountain biking, remember that each one comes with a side serving of magical landscape, adventure, and a tight-knit community.
Top 4 health benefits of mountain biking
1. Heart and Lung Health
Anyone that has mountain biked once can tell you that the cardiovascular workout is intense. Large muscle groups in your core and legs are vigorously worked while biking, and these require oxygen to perform well or perform at all.
Climbing hills engages the whole upper body in addition to your legs, making your entire body thirsty for oxygen. The heart and lungs work overtime to push fresh oxygen into these muscles as you push up the mountain. Cardio workouts have proven to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and are among the largest health benefits of mountain biking.
2. Balance and Coordination
Swerving, turning, and careening through the trees or rocky hillsides requires precision of both the body and the mind. The movement of a bike, especially on uneven terrain, demands constant adjustments of your body’s balance.
Balance brings the body together with the mind. Your brain works to instantly send signals to the body, telling it what to do when that rock passes under the rear tire, then your body responds.
3. Mental Health
Reduced stress, boosted mood, and increased brain power top the list of mental health benefits of mountain biking. We genuinely believe that getting out on the trail makes you happier. Don’t just take our word for it, though, because science has our backs.
Exercise naturally produces feel-good endorphins and hormones like serotonin. Brains that experience low levels of these chemicals are much more likely to experience depression, anxiety, high stress, and low self-esteem.
In addition to just feeling good, mountain biking has a way of being a different form of meditation. The necessary focus of every twist and turn exercises your brain’s ability to turn its attention from negative thoughts to what is in front of you. Your brain growing and learning is one of the most impressive and instantly noticeable health benefits of mountain biking.
The mental workout is constant and builds pathways that help reduce the risk of disabilities as a result of aging on top of all the other benefits we described above.
4. Whole Body Workout
Mountain biking engages your entire body, from the tips of your toes to the depths of your brain. It’s incredibly all-encompassing, and every part of the body can benefit from a solid ride. The obvious signs of an avid rider tend to be their sculpted calves and leg muscles, but the incredible workout on the core and arms is overlooked.
Putting your whole body to work on a long mountain biking trip decreases cortisol, which will lead to better sleep at night. In addition to this reduced hormone, you are exposed to more natural daylight outside to tune your circadian rhythm and bring more effective sleep that leaves you feeling more rested every morning.