There are few sports that build muscle and stamina quite like mountain biking (MTB). A sport that’s as dynamic as it is tough, MTB offers a comprehensive workout and a feeling of accomplishment that is scarcely matched by other activities. While mountain biking (MTB)doesn’t always immediately spring to mind when we think about health and fitness, it’s actually one of the safest, and most effective, ways to get a full-body workout. And if that’s not enough – it’s free, too!
It helps you look after your heart
First and foremost, mountain biking (MTB) is unrivalled in the way it provides for a fun cardiovascular workout. Traversing the terrain on a mountain bike gets the heart working steadily, and for extended periods of time, leading to noticeable improvements in the health of your heart. In fact, a study by the British Medical Association found that riding a bicycle for at least 20 miles a week reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 50%.
What’s more, mountain biking is highly effective when it comes to controlling weight and staving-off obesity. Cycling increases your metabolic rate, building muscle and burning fat. Strikingly, even steady cycling burns around about 300 calories per hour – so just image what you can do on a mountain bike.
In a similar vein, the average mountain biker will also see their stamina increase dramatically the more they ride. Mountain biking – particularly the climbing aspect – puts substantial demands on a rider’s lungs. And lung capacity can be improved by as much as 15% with regular exercise.
It provides for a full-body workout
Something else that can often be forgotten is that MTB constitutes a full body workout. When hitting the more difficult terrains, your muscles will be used like never before. In addition to building strong legs, thighs, and calves, the fact that mountain bikers need to remain upright leads to substantial improvement in a rider’s abdominal and core muscles. The art of uphill climbing also strengthens a rider’s arms and upper body.
Related to this, mountain biking carries with it an enormous advantage insofar as it is a non-load bearing form of exercise. The action of sitting means that a significant level of pressure is being taken off your joints, leading to massive reductions in the likelihood of muscle or joint injury. In this sense, mountain biking (MTB) offers the cardiovascular benefits of running, but without damaging impact your joints.
It reduces stress and boosts endorphins
No less important, however, is the positive impact cycling can have on your mental health. Aerobic exercises, like mountain biking, can reduce levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone”, and stimulate the release of endorphins. This powerful combination can combat stress, relieve anxiety, and even lead to a sense of mild euphoria. Indeed, studies frequently show that cyclists enjoy lower stress levels and are generally happier than their non-cycling peers.
Mountain biking (MTB) is perfectly suited to generating this beneficial cocktail or more endorphins and less cortisol. Not only does it constitute a strong aerobic workout, but nothing can beat the sense of freedom that comes with exploring nature and pushing your body to new limits. Mountain biking gives you the freedom to experience new places and take some time way from the daily grind of work, and the myriad screens that are so often in front of our faces.
If you’re looking for a new, fun form of exercise, then mountain biking is something you should strongly consider. Nothing can match the sense of freedom and accomplishment that comes with an extensive mountain biking session, and the health benefits you’ll see will be staggering.
Check out the below popular Riddick MTBs