So, you want to get to know all about what you could really win by mountain biking? Well, the truth is that MTB is a diverse and complex sport. Mountain bikers utilize a special kind of a bike, known as a mountain bike, which is more suitable for rough terrains. Apart from that, you also need the right equipment, of course, a mountain bike, some MTB shoes, or even something as simple as a hydration pack.
Check out below some of the best mountain biking benefits:
Best of Mountain Biking:
- Losing Weight
- Reducing chances of heart disease and strokes
- Improving your coordination and balance
- Increasing your metabolism
- Intensifying your stamina
- Improving your skin condition
- Strengthening your immune system
- Improving your mental health and fighting conditions like depression
While it may sound simple enough, MTB is a highly challenging sport. Endurance, core strength, balance, and self-reliance are musts. Without those, mountain biking cannot be accomplished.
Self-reliance, in particular, is crucial as mountain bikers are often far removed from civilization. They have to learn to rely on themselves alone and to repair any problems with their bikes to avoid becoming stranded. Therefore, due to the difficulty level and the skills required for mountain biking, road biking is generally preferred and is more popular.
Nevertheless, mountain bikers swear to the many benefits of mountain biking. The fact is that they claim cannot be found in any other sport. Some of which we will be exploring in this article. The real positive side of mountain biking encompasses a wide range. Extremely beneficial for our health, mountain biking has many physical upsides.
While you may encounter a few cuts and bruises along the way, research has found that biking regularly can decrease your chances of contracting a serious disease. Biking just 3 hours a week has been found to reduce chances of heart disease and strokes by 50%. Studies show that women who bike 30 minutes or more per day are less likely to get breast cancer. Additionally, teenagers who bike are 48% less likely to be overweight in adulthood.
It improves your coordination and balance as both are essential skills required for mountain biking. Those gradually improve with time as you continue biking. It increases your metabolism which helps you lose weight but also enhances your hormones, neurotransmitters and every other body system. All of it creating a continuous cycle of health.
Mountain biking also goes a long way in increasing your stamina. As you travel longer and longer distances every day without wiping out your get stronger. The physical benefits of mountain biking are largely derived due to the many muscles used in the practice. The primary muscles used in mountain biking are the thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings), your calf muscles and to an extent, your abdominal muscles and biceps.
Your leg muscles are largely used in riding the bike for turning the pedals and propelling the bike forward. The abdominal muscles are used to keep your balance and stay stable and the biceps are used for steering and controlling the handlebars. The leg muscles are put to hard work when riding a bike and considerably strengthened.
As the leg muscles work, oxygen is sent from the heart to the legs, which provides you with a fantastic full-body workout. It will strengthen your cardiac muscles and your heart, as well as regulate your blood pressure. These muscle benefits of mountain biking not only strengthen your heart but increase your brain power as more oxygen is being taken. That ultimately improves your thinking capacity. It allows your brain to operate faster and gives your mind peace.
Mountain Biking Gains are way more than just physical:
The workout also gives you clearer skin and a more youthful-looking appearance. Overall, mountain biking strengthens your immune system and makes you fitter. Aside from these physical benefits, mountain biking also has many psychological and mental benefits. Biking through the rough terrain, no urban civilization in sight, completely surrounded by nature is known to decrease stress.
The fresh air and the raw, natural beauty is a welcome change of scenery for many who live in urban areas. Studies have discovered that being close to nature can provide mental benefits and help to stave off mental illnesses, particularly depression. In fact, mountain biking can be seen as a form of therapy, due to the emergence of ‘ecotherapy’. It is a treatment for mental issues through close contact with nature.
This further helps in providing perspective to egocentric people who forget what matters in life. Being out among nature can show you that there are things much bigger than just yourselves. It allows gaining perspective on your own life.
Mountain Biking: More Benefits
Mountain biking is a sport which requires immense focus and concentration. Thus, when a person is biking, they leave behind their anxiety and clear their mind of any worries. The increased oxygen intake allows your brain to function better. It provides solutions to any problems you may have.
Sleep comes easier and is deeper, allowing you to handle any extra stress. Moreover, research has found that the body releases endorphins during exercise. It improves a person’s mood and makes them happier, keeping depression away.
It also helps to decrease the immune system chemicals which make depression worse. Biking also provides you with a sense of freedom. Being away from your responsibilities, without a worry in the world, offers you a temporary escape from reality.
This temporary escape from reality can also help break the cycle of negative thought in your head, keep anxiety and depression away. It builds a person’s self-confidence as they learn to ride better and venture farther. Clearing your first log or overcoming any biking challenges may build your confidence little by little.
Improving Yourself by Mountain Biking:
Losing weight and becoming more physically fit can help you feel better about your appearance. This new-found confidence spills over into other aspects of life and helps to make a person more confident in all aspects of life. Mountain biking is also ideal for making friends who have the same interests as you do. You may meet other bikers while you’re out there and that can be only good.
You may also find yourselves becoming part of an entire community of bikers. This provides you with a sense of safety and security. Knowing that you have emotional support in the form of your friends is important. Additionally, you may find that you’ve become more creative.
Biking forces you to focus only on yourself and your environment, expelling any worries from your mind and allows ideas to flow through your mind, unhindered. When riding, you focus on your environment alone. This does not halt when the ride is finished. You may become a more focused person, who takes in the surroundings and gives attention to detail.
Overall, the mental benefits of mountain biking help namely to clear your mind of negativity, boost your morale and help to get your creative juices flowing. So, you can come up with world-dominating ideas, along with providing you with the necessary concentration and focus to achieve them.
Mountain Biking: way more than a positive ride
As seen above, the positive effects of mountain biking are immense on a person’s well-being. It is not simply the best for your physical health, but also for your mental and psychological state. Making you a happier and healthier person, mountain biking can help you to lead a more fulfilling life. It allows you to deal with your problems effectively and the improvement in your mood and happiness can lead to having better, less strained relations with the people who surround you.
Mountain biking together with other people can also lead to the development of stronger relations and can act as a fun weekend outing. Aside from these, mountain biking has positive effects on the environment as well as it does not involve any emission of harmful gases and it does not disturb the elements in nature. For many, mountain biking is an addiction but a far less harmful and more rewarding addiction than drugs.
The satisfaction and peace of mind derived from mountain biking can prevent a person from turning towards negative forms of addiction. Mountain bikers also get to save money as they do not need to buy cars or use public transportation as they can easily and quickly get to any place on their bike. They need not waste money on fuel and any repairs to the bike are far less costly than car repairs.
Mountain biking for the environment:
This is, again, beneficial for the environment. Thus, mountain biking has positive effects not only on you but on the environment and people around you as well. However, despite its proven benefits, mountain biking is a highly underrated sport. Very few people understand why is mountain biking important.
In this modern age of polluted urban cities, distractions posed in the form of cellphones, fretting over paying your rent and being caught up in the little things that prevent you from seeing the bigger things in life. Mountain biking can be crucial in providing you with some perspective, a lifeline.
It can raise you from the pit of your worries and your depressions. A way of getting out of your noisy, dirty urban cities and give you a taste of freedom and beautiful scenery to go with it.
MTB: A Way of Life
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby. It is the anticipated time of day when bikers can forget their problems, hop on their bikes and explore their own selves. It is important because it can play a major role in shaping a person and helping them to see beyond the many distractions and realize what their true aspirations in life.
The importance of mountain biking can be seen in the fact that it is practically life-changing for some. Having established the importance and benefits of mountain biking, it’s important to remember that you can’t simply jump on your bike and become a mountain biking pro. In order to become a mountain biker, it is necessary to have a certain skill set.
The entire point of mountain biking is traveling on rough terrain, which is quite difficult to manage and navigate. Stamina is a must – you can’t ride a bike over a smooth road for over 5 minutes without stamina, let alone mountain biking. You must practice your mobility i.e. your ability to move freely.
This comes in handy during mountain biking as you need to be as you need to constantly change your positions as the terrain is ever-changing. Balance is crucial in order to not fall off your bike – as you move up and down slopes, you must change your positions on the bike so that it is evenly balanced and does not go down. Most importantly, mountain bikers must learn to rely on themselves and not to give up hope.
MTB Practice Needs Training
Mountain biking isn’t a skill which can be learned overnight. It requires patience and endurance to have a ride without falling over multiple times. How then, can we incorporate these skills? How does a person condition themselves to mountain biking?
First off, a strict training and workout regimen should be followed to build up certain skills such as strength, stamina, and mobility. You should be starting off each workout simple mobility exercises. Foam rolling of the legs, some static stretching of the quads and hip flexors and some dynamic mobility moves that target the shoulders and hips.
This will help you get warmed up, increase your general mobility and help you get prepared for the exercises you are about to do. After this, target your core strength and do some exercises for building this up. Pick 2 different exercises for this and do 2-3 sets of each to build a more stable, strong core which will aid us in biking.
Power training can also be undertaken as mountain biking involves many sudden, strong movements due to the ever-changing terrain. Therefore, picking a few exercises such as kettle ball swings can help us to hammer down this area. You should also do some cardio, such as running on a treadmill, to build up your endurance.
Add some balancing exercises at the end of your workout, such as standing on one leg or doing squats. At the end of your workout, make sure to drink a protein shake or have a healthy snack and get enough rest before your next workout. At the end of the day, while this training workout can help you to build up your skills, there is nothing that can truly prepare you for mountain biking other than mountain biking itself.
Get Out There and Ride:
So, buy yourself the best MTB helmet, scout for a simple path and start biking before you lose your nerve. In the start, continue your workout along with your biking. Remember, you must ease yourself in slowly. Make sure to choose a trail (check out here some of the best trails out there) which will not be overly strenuous. Also, be sure to ride at a speed which is comfortable for you.
Slowly start increasing the duration of your ride and your workout. Once, you’re accustomed to longer rides, start searching for more challenging terrain to bike on. While this may slow down your speed, it will increase the intensity of your ride and help you to get used to riding on rough terrain.
Following this regimen can easily improve your mountain biking conditioning. Many people tend to ask, “Will mountain biking get me in shape?” Reading the above, one can certainly safely assume that due to the complete workout of the muscles, mountain biking can help you lose weight and get toned muscles.
Get in Shape:
However, many would say that getting into mountain biking to get in shape is a terrible idea. For one, mountain biking would be exceptionally hard to master if you are overweight and out of shape. Mountain biking requires an existing level of fitness. Secondly, performing any sport is not the way to lose weight.
For mountain biking in particular, while you may lose weight and gain cardio fitness, it cannot help you gain overall fitness. The muscles used in mountain biking must previously be in good shape as these are the ones which are utilized most, while other parts of the body lie dormant and are ignored. To get your body into shape to be excellent at a few things means that other types of fitness will suffer.
Moreover, in the term, mountain biking isn’t the best way to remain fit. It involves hunching over the bike handlebars and performing the same, repetitive motions for a couple of hours, which can cause all sorts of imbalances. Sitting down further means that your core and hips are not utilized which can cause movement dysfunctions. So, while mountain biking can provide you with a short-term solution to weight loss, it comes with many requirements and possibly, long-term repercussions.
Advantages of MTB: the right sport for the right people
If one fulfilled these requirements, however, they could possibly get in shape by strictly regulating their diet and calorie intake and regularly biking. Mountain biking is an incredibly rewarding and beneficial sport. It can help you to get fit, to appreciate nature or even to find yourselves. It carries different meanings for different people.
However, it should be noted that it can only be undertaken by those who fulfill certain requirements and it is certainly not a sport for everyone. It is, after all, incredibly challenging and difficult to master. At the end of the day, any skill can be mastered with enough dedication and patience. But, to truly master mountain biking, you must ride for the thrill and the enjoyment rather than looking at the weight loss and the health benefits it can give you.
It may take you a couple of days, weeks or even years to master it but once you do, the countless benefits certainly make it worth your while. You become part of a worldwide community of bikers and some would even say they found their calling in mountain biking.