All Over Fitness: Mountain Biking

All Over Fitness: Mountain Biking

Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.

If you are looking to improve your overall fitness, condition your body and have a great time while doing it, then mountain biking could be an excellent option for you. 

Finding the motivation to exercise is hard, so it’s essential that you love what you do. For some, the idea of going for a run in the morning fills them with dread from the moment they open their eyes. The thought of heading into the gym is daunting. If you aren’t excited and passionate by your exercise routine, then you will find it harder to self motivate, and you may look for excuses to put it off. Motivation is the key to getting fitter and living a healthy life. 

Mountain biking is a great fun sport that you can do alone, or with the whole family. It is an all-over exercise which works almost every muscle in your body but is particularly good for the legs, bum and your core. Unlike road cycling, mountain biking gives you a HIIT work out without it feeling like one. You will find you are putting maximum effort in for short periods to propel yourself up short sharp hills, and then you have time to recover on the downhills. However, due to the balance that you need to take on a downhill run, you will be working all of your muscle groups even when you aren’t working on your cardio. This gives your heart time to recover, but you will still be burning fat and building muscle. 

Cycling is also a great cardiovascular exercise. This means you can be sure you are improving your overall health while having a fun time on the trails. You don’t need to be putting maximum effort across the whole ride, but as your fitness starts to improve, you can focus on pushing yourself a little harder. 

There are ways you can help improve your performance on the mountain bike. This may mean a few sessions in the gym to increase your core and back strength. Your back works hard when you are riding singletrack or trails so getting some advice from a personal trainer and doing pull-ups with proper form, will help you to maintain the right position on the bike and improve your balance and help increase your speed—resulting in better rides and more calories burnt. 

Another reason mountain biking is a great all-round exercise is that it helps your mental health too. You will experience adrenalin, a release of endorphins and find that your mind is focussed on the moment you are in. This makes it an excellent sport for improving mindfulness. If you aren’t 100 percent focussed on the trails, then you will fall off. So it will give your mind a break from any stress and anxiety that has been affecting you through the day, unlike road cycling or running where the feel-good factor comes at the end of your session. With Mountain biking, you get the feel-good factor from start to finish which makes the whole session feel less gruelling. 

So grab a helmet, get to your local trail centre and give mountain biking a go, you might find a new way of exercising that you enjoy! 

Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.

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