Seven health benefits of mountain biking

bike

Over the last few decades, mountain biking has remained a popular outdoor and recreational activity. As public health concerns, such as the growing obesity problem and with heart disease, are on the rise it is becoming more critical to become more concerned about living a healthy lifestyle. This means you must include exercise and a well-balanced diet in your lifestyle.

Mountain biking is a fun and exciting way to get outdoors, stay active and enjoy the beautiful sights of Cape Town. It’s becoming more and more popular as many have discovered that mountain biking is a sport that the whole family can enjoy.

Here are seven advantages of mountain biking:

1)     Improves heart health

There is no doubt that regular exercise is known to improve cardiovascular fitness. Your heart and lungs make up your cardiovascular system. The more fit you are the better this system works. If you have a better flow of blood through your body, oxygen will be able to be pumped through your body faster. By sticking to a exercise regime, your level of fitness will improve. If you are just starting out, start slowly. Set a weekly goal for yourself on how far and what type of terrain you would like to do. Each week, monitor your improvements, your heart rate, how you are feeling and performing. Don’t over exert yourself in the beginning, rather gain fitness and strength and then start pushing yourself to be better than your previous statistics. You can monitor your progress on a tracker which is fastened to your wrist, helmet or bike.

2)     Less Stress on the joints

Mountain biking is non-load-bearing so reduces the risk of injury on joints. What this means is that because you are sitting down when cycling, you are not putting an immense amount of pressure on your joints. If you suffer from an old joint problem, getting into a cycling exercise regime can help train the old injury and help you regain fitness levels.

3)     Reduces stress

Any exercise will release natural endorphins. What makes mountain biking even better is that it takes place outdoors. This allows you to lower your stress levels out in nature. If you have had a tough week at work or if the pressures of life are just too much, a quick adrenaline rush on your bike will be exactly what you need to refresh and recharge.  Sticking to a cycling exercise regime, keeps you motivated and focused. This ultimately acts as a distraction from negative thoughts and helps you gain self-confidence and self-esteem.

4) Mountain biking made easy

The great thing about choosing mountain biking as a hobby is that you can take your bike with you anywhere. Simply put it on your roof racks or hook it to the back of your car and off you go. Mountain biking is an activity that the entire family can do together. You can add a child seat or trailer to your bike to enable your kids to join the ride too. There are so many incredible cycling routes around Cape Town to try out. If you do not own a mountain bike, you might want to look for mountain bikes for sale and start looking around for cycling routes and groups that you can join.

5)     Improves coordination

Mountain biking is a dynamic activity that requires the rider to constantly adjust to varying terrain, pitch, and elevation. Riding a mountain bike strengthens and reinforces muscle memory. It requires a large amount of coordination and keeps your brain, senses, muscles and nervous system active. It is important to keep these systems active as you age to lessen the impact of injury from any possible mountain biking falls.

6)     Gets you outdoors

There is no better way to stay active than doing it while outdoors. Mountain biking allows you to enjoy the sights and smells while on the beaten track. Take in the majestic surroundings while feeling your bike cut through the air at speeds that make your adrenaline pump. You just need to spend a bit of time online to find the dozens of mountain bike trails that you can try. Some have no entrance fee, while others have a small fee that covers the use of the land.

7)     It has so many social benefits

Social activities and interactions with people who share in the same passion as we do, help us to be happy in life. Mountain biking is often a social activity shared by clubs and groups who get together. These can be social or competitive groups that meet weekly and ride various routes. Being a part of a cycling group provides a perfect opportunity to build personal relationships, make new friends and connections as well as share a hobby with people who enjoy the same thing as you do.