Healthy biking is a fun and exciting way to get exercise in the great outdoors. Mountain biking has become more and more popular in the past few decades. More people are getting out into nature and enjoying thrilling rides on mountain trails. There are so many great benefits mountain biking has to offer your overall health and well-being. It’s also a lot more fun than biking on the side of the road! Here are some reasons why.
You will improve the health of your heart. While any cardio exercise can improve cardiovascular health, few are quite like mountain biking. A British Medical Association study looked at 10,000 people. It proved that mountain biking every week for at least 20 miles reduced the participant’s risk for heart disease by a massive 50%. This is because mountain biking requires you to use the largest muscle groups and you need a lot of oxygen. Your heart has to work steadily, which increases its fitness by up to 7%, depending on the exercise you compare it to.
You don’t have to worry about stressing your joints. Being a low-impact sport, mountain biking doesn’t cause as much stress on your joints as running. While you are sitting, your body doesn’t need to hold the entire load. If you have joint pain, there is no better exercise for you than biking.
Your mood will improve while stress washes away. Mountain biking is demanding, but this demand stimulates your body to produce more endorphins. These endorphins make you feel good and give you more energy to keep going. While you bike, your brain also releases higher levels of serotonin. This neurotransmitter reduces the effects of anxiety and depression. You also have to focus on the task at hand, which will keep you from thinking too much about the things in life that are stressing you out. As you get better, you will also feel more confident.
It can make you smarter. A study from Illinois University linked the improvement in cardiorespiratory function to up to a 15% improvement completing mental tests. When you bike, you are building up your hippocampus, which is the part of your brain dedicated to memory.
This boost also helps your heart pump more oxygen to your brain, giving you a total brain boost.
You will reduce your risk of disease. People who frequently participate in moderate exercise have stronger immune systems. Studies show that people who bike for a half hour, five days each week, take half as many sick days than people who don’t exercise.
You can make some new friends. There are so many cycling clubs, which will bring you to fun new tracks, with great new people. You can also register for races and other cycling events. Having positive social interactions improves mood and gives you a chance to meet people you can go biking with.
Get the best sleep of your life. I know I can feel pretty tired immediately after I ride, but the sleep I get throughout the night is deeper and more healing than it was before. Riding actually decreases your body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol can be blamed for keeping people awake at night. It is also healthy for you to expose your body to sunlight during the day. This helps people keep natural sleep cycles and also increases your vitamin D intake. Keep your rides early in the day, otherwise, it can have the opposite effect. Get a juicing machine for smoothies to give you a little extra energy boost if you decide to bike in the morning.
Mountain biking gives you whole body a workout. While you may feel the soreness predominately in your calves, mountain biking also works the other muscles in your body. You may be propelling yourself forward with your legs, but the rest of your body is working together to keep your balance. This tightens your core. While you are navigating and taking turns, you are strengthening your arms and shoulders.
You will get to enjoy nature. You can take a bike off the beaten path and see areas of nature most people don’t get to go. You will also be doing it in a thrilling method! Get your bike out of the city and take in the serene surroundings. Biking in city areas can even increase stress, fear and anxiety. I know I’m always worried about cars and other people. Biking in nature will relax you and get your ready to face the day.
I hope this article helps you see how healthy biking is, and motivates you to strap on your helmet and hit the trails! Happy biking!