Mountain biking is a tough sport. Period! Avid sports persons think twice before taking on mountain biking, which requires immense skill, stamina, endurance, determination and fitness. What’s strange though is the recent trend of people opting for mountain biking to build their fitness levels from scratch. People with different stories of obesity and looming health issues have turned to something as arduous as mountain biking to make a physical and mental transformation!
Shedding oodles of weight with mountain biking is something that will naturally happen once you are into this sport for at least a month. But what are the other benefits of mountain biking for fitness? Read on to know how riders make the most of mountain biking to stay healthy!
Healthy weight loss
Let’s forget about young, professional bikers. What we want to stress here is how people from other professions end up becoming ardent mountain riders once they discover they can drop weight in the healthiest fashion. Mountain biking decimates calories incredibly fast, which explains why people lose unwanted fat and build their muscle strength.
Improved cardiovascular health
One ride up or down a trail is enough to burn at least 800-900 calories, which is an equivalent of doing two hours of strength training in your gym. Mountain biking is a natural cardiovascular exercise with interval training. Going uphill takes a lot of coordinated effort of the heart muscles which results in cutting down the risk of coronary diseases by 40%.
Many retired workers who haven’t had the time to socialize or create a healthy lifestyle for themselves find mountain biking does all this in a very natural way. Amateur riders find themselves signing up for races, becoming members of biking clubs and meeting new people. Families end up planning vacations or treks next to biking trails, thus fostering harmonious and healthy memories that last a lifetime.
Enhanced emotional and mental health
The vigorous demands of the sport stimulate the body to release endorphins which are natural stress-busters. The strenuous exercises of mountain biking also boost serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is crucial in preventing depression and anxiety. The impeccable focus and concentration of going uphill or coming downhill is nothing short of a moving meditation to strengthen one’s mental capabilities.
Comprehensive body workout
It is a common misunderstanding that mountain biking strengthens only the lower half of the body. Yes, it is a superb lower body workout that strengthens the hips, thighs, knees, calves and even the feet. But it is a workout that also calls for a lot of core strength because the balance to stay upright comes from the strength of your abdominal muscles. Most bikers attribute their shoulder and arm strength to the rigorous balancing of the bike’s handlebars and the numerous manoeuvres.
Apart from professional mountain bikers, there are thousands of people who adopt this sport mainly for health reasons. The change is often initiated after the shocking revelation of health statistics, doctor’s warnings, unpleasant comments or just by the inspiration from a friend or colleague. The following tips should be useful for people who have just recently taken up mountain biking for its health benefits:
Mountain biking is your ticket to a healthier lifestyle!