Over the past few years, mountain biking has remained an extremely popular outdoor recreational activity. As public concerns surrounding health issues like; obesity, heart disease and diabetes are on the rise - physical exercise, especially when taken in the outdoors is becoming more crucial to our health as individuals and a society as a whole.
Mountain biking is a fun and exciting way to enjoy the many health benefits of regular fitness and cardiovascular exercise. If you’re interested in taking up mountain biking, why not check out mountain bike North Wales for all your biking needs.
Less Stress on the Joints
Mountain biking is a low impact sport, which means it puts less stress on your joints than other aerobic activities such as running. Cycling is also considered to be a non-load bearing sport, which means that the act of sitting in the saddle takes pressure off your joints and reduces the risk of injuring them.
Improved Heart Health
Regular exercise is known to have a positive improvement on cardiovascular fitness. Mountain biking uses large muscle groups that require a lot of oxygen; this makes the heart work steadily, increasing your heart’s fitness by 3-7%.
Reduced Stress & Improved Mood
The rigorous demands of mountain biking stimulate your body to release natural endorphins, which are the body’s way of feeling good and getting more energy. Exercise also boosts serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the brain which helps to prevent depression and anxiety.
Increased Brain Power
Researchers found that a 5% improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% on mental tests. This is in part due to building brain cells in the hippocampus – the region of the brain responsible for memory. Creative professionals and executives often use their sharpened brain function during exercise time to come up with ideas and solve problems.
Whole Body Workout
It’s no doubt you’ll recognize the defined calf muscles of an avid cyclist, but you may not realize that mountain biking uses the muscles of your whole body. Of course, cycling builds strong legs, thighs and calves and helps you get that nice tight butt. The balance required to stay upright strengthens your abdominal and core muscles.
Mountain biking is often a social activity shared by clubs and groups who get out to ride together. It provides a perfect opportunity to build personal bonds and make new friends with people who enjoy the same activities that you do.
Improved Balance & Coordination
Unlike plodding on a treadmill or stair stepper, mountain biking is a dynamic activity that requires the rider to constantly adjust to varying terrain, pitch, and elevation. Staying steady and secure on a mountain bike not only keeps you from crashing, but strengthens neural pathways and reinforces muscle memory.
Decreased Risk of Diseases
Regular moderate exercise is known to strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy. Researchers found that people who cycle for 30 minutes, 5 days a week take half as many sick days off work compared to their sedentary counterparts! Another study reported that women who exercised regularly, including cycling to work, reduced their incidence of breast cancer.