I started mountain biking because I thought it was a fun sport not realizing it’s one of the best workouts you can imagine. If you want to lose weight without having to burn yourself out, mountain biking is the answer.
Is mountain biking a good workout? It’s possible the best workout you can get considering you’re outside, won’t injure yourself as much as other sports and you can keep going for a long time.
Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. It’s a fun exercise and causes minimal stress on your body. You’re in control of the intensity and you can do it every day. Here are 18 reasons why riding a MTB is a great work out.
1. You Burn a lot of Calories
Mountain biking is great for weight loss. You’ll burn a lot of calories without even noticing it, well sort of. It’s just as efficient as running but the great thing about mountain biking is that you can take a break and keep moving.
Mountain biking is an efficient way to burn fat, you can keep going for hours and jump back on the next day. Sure you’ll feel a bit sore at first, but after ten minutes it’s gone and you can continue working out.
To make your workout efficient, try to speed up and slow down just like interval training. Even better, see if there are any trails nearby. You’ll be forced to interval which prevents you from plateauing. If you do the same workout often, your body gets used to it and the workout becomes less efficient. Trails will prevent you to plateau!
Combine it with running if you want to lose weight, this is a really efficient way of getting back in shape.
2. More Energy, Less Stress
You’ll feel more energetic during the day and won’t get stressed as much as couch potatoes. You’ll be on top of everything (working out also improves your libido).
You won’t need as much sleep like you used to (assuming you’re a passive couch potato) and you’ll feel more energized. Make sure to recover from an intense ride because your body needs it.
3. I’m not Working out, You Are
Mountain biking is fun, you need to focus and you’ll feel like a million bucks during and after you leave your local trail. When you get in ‘the zone’ you just forget about everything, it helps to get at ease and you’ll forget about your trivial problems.
You focus on the next corner, climbing that hill or try to perfect a jump off o bump. Release the adrenaline and endorphins!
4. You get to Enjoy Nature
I love being in the woods and hitting trails. I also don’t mind just taking the recreational bike roads because there’s something magical to it. I don’t listen to music because I don’t want to miss out on the sounds of singing birds and the occasional woodpecker.
There’s just something magical about being out there. The smell of pine woods (and the occasional pig farm, yikes) and even when it rains the drops rhythm can be hypnotizing.
5. You can do it with Friends
If you’re lucky you can do it with friends, you’ll have to workout harder probably when you’re in a group but you won’t regret it afterward. You might curse that guy because you can’t keep up but the reward comes afterward.
It’s a great way to bond with your friends and don’t forget to crack open a beer when you’re done, you deserve it!
6. Great Cardio Without Overdoing It
Mountain biking is cardio, you’ll notice a difference when you climb stairs or have to make a short sprint. Because you can easily control the intensity of the workout you’ll be able to train longer and get in shape without burning yourself out.
7. Lower Blood Pressure, Healthy Heart
Cardio is great for lowering your blood pressure and keeping your heart in a healthy condition. Mountain biking increases your blood’s ability to transport oxygen and dilates your blood vessels and keeps them clear.
8. Stronger Legs
Once you start taking mountain biking seriously and ride 2 or 3 times a week, your legs will get stronger and your bum will get in better shape. And no, shaving your legs won’t make you any faster, but I guess that’s more of a road bike thing.
9. Fewer Injuries
You really have to try hard to get an injury when mountain biking. I’m not talking about crashed of course but it’s hard to hurt yourself by just riding. If you’re a runner and tired of injuries, this is a great alternative.
Mountain biking doesn’t cause much stress on your joints and muscles. I still advise doing some core training once every while to get stronger.
10. Improves Mental Condition
You sleep better, you won’t suffer from stress as much and you will smile more. You’ll feel more confident at work and around friends.
Small victories during the ride like climbing a hill or rushing downhill or any challenge will feel rewarding. Post-ride you feel great and you’ll be glad you decided to go for a ride.
11. Improves Breathing
Like any cardio workout, your lungs benefit from mountain biking. Scientific studies show that lung capacity can increase up to 25%.
Once you get the habit of riding more often, you notice you cope better with hills for example. You’ll be surprised how quickly you improve.
12. Free Vitamin-D
Vitamin D is essential to feel more energetic. Being outside and having some sunlight on your face helps to feel better and less tired all the time.
If you suffer from winter depressions, being outside and catching some sun helps you deal with the shorter days. During summer you’ll get a nice tan on your face, legs, and arms. The contrast on the rest of your body might be a bit awkward when you visit the beach.
13. Healthy for the Brain
Exercise is a great way to improve your focus, you’ll be able to concentrate on a task much more and improve your problem-solving abilities. You can keep going longer when performing cognitive tasks and your work will improve.
At the end of the day, you won’t feel exhausted. Combination this with a healthy diet and enough sleep to get the most out of it.
14. Improves Reflexes
You make a lot of decisions during a ride and constantly pay attention and calculate risk. Picking the proper line, split-second corrections, correcting your balance and avoiding obstacles.
it will keep you sharp and on top, justs be careful when you get tired and lose focus. Most accidents happen when you’re not paying attention.
15. Encounter Wildlife
The joys of being out there isn’t just about you, it’s about your encounters. I’m not talking about grizzly bears but I love it when I spot a fox, deer and rare colorful birds.
People encounter all sorts of wildlife. I read a story about a guy encountering 2 owls riding a trail at night, he mentioned it is a magical experience. Nature is lit!
Your mood improves. You feel great post-ride and produce more hormones that have a positive impact on your mental state.
Feeling fit not only improves your mood. Your libido will improve and dealing with stressful situations will become easier.
17. You’ll Feel Stronger
Related to other benefits but riding a mountain bike will make you feel stronger. Once you get into the habit you probably also want to strengthen your upper body and feel more motivated to hit the gym offseason.
If you can’t ride make sure to stay fit and do exercises that benefit your riding skills.
18. Efficient Fat Burning
Mountain biking is a really efficient way to burn fat. If you want to lose weight riding a MTb is a good choice. You’ll be able to workout longer compared to other sports without overdoing it.
It’s accessible, all you have to do is grab your MTB and ride. Going to the gym can be a mental battle but jumping on a bike saves you the hassle of having to go to the gym.
Make sure you do interval training, at some point your body gets used to the workout so bike harder and slower and if possible climb up hills.
Mountain biking is a great physical activity and keeps the stress away. It’s one of the more efficient ways to burn fat without running the risk of injury.
Start slow and gradually build up and you’ll notice you feel better and more energized during the day.
Enjoy nature and make sure to keep your bike in good condition.