Do you want to feel healthier in your mind and body? It’s not always easy to get out on your bike and ride, but afterward you are almost always glad you did. Mountain biking isn’t for the weak willed. It’s hard and takes practice, but is incredibly rewarding— especially when you make it a habit. Help keep your motivation up by thinking about these simple, yet powerful, health benefits you get from mountain biking.
Manage stress and anxiety
A little fresh air in your lungs can relax and restore your body and mind. Get outdoors, on your bike and into nature to really feel the healing effects of exercising in nature. That combination is what makes cycling a pathway to healthy minds and bodies. Studies show the breathing exercises you need for biking uphill and on rugged terrain can help manage stress, while the low-impact cardio can help lower your resting heart rate, a must-have for managing blood pressure.
A regular mountain biking routine can have a direct impact on the quality of your sleep. Exercise, especially where both your body and mind is working, helps your consciousness let go of regrets and unfinished business. Physically, you sleep better because your needs to rebuild and repair after your workout— and sleep is the ideal time for your body to heal, build and refine.
Full body health and healing
Mountain biking is a full body workout, but to keep it safe and substantial, you’ll want to add in some cross-training days. Cross-training gives mountain bikers a chance to strengthen areas that might not get worked as much on the bike. Plus it helps you avoid the burnout some people feel when they plateau in their sport. You only need to crosstrain one or two days a week, so it’s easy to make sure these workouts don’t require you to sacrifice doing what you love. Crosstrain is the foundation to preventing injury in many athletes, but especially mountain bikers.
Achieving goals boost your overall well-being
You can also look into really giving your health a boost by training for a race. This will hold you accountable for going out on regular mountain biking excursions to get you ready for race day. It’s also a great way to meet people of all fitness levels who have healthy lifestyle tips and riding techniques to share. More importantly, however, signing up for a race can help you focus on achieving a goal, which boosts mental health by building confidence, while also gaining the physical benefits of biking, like cardio and balance.
Get your blood pumping
Regular cardiovascular exercise, like the kind you get every time you’re on your bike, strengthens your heart, lungs, bones, muscles and mind. Doctors all agree that exercise in general has a major impact on both physical and mental health, so it’s no surprise that even a moderate amount of mountain biking can have a substantial effect. A healthy cardiovascular system is foundational for current and long-term health. A healthy heart reduces your risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, bone loss and more.
Mountain bikers come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and ages, but they all share similar health benefits just from climbing in the saddle. Some bikers love coasting down smooth, fast trails, while others enjoy the burn when climbing rocky, technical areas. Either way you’ll see substantial health impacts, from a lower risk of depression to healthier hearts and lungs.