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8 Reasons Why Mountain Biking Is Good For You

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When you hear mountain biking, you think of adrenaline and high-energy exercise.  But what exactly are all of those benefits which make mountain biking good for you?

I’m going to tell you today about all of those great benefits to mountain biking that you get in addition to a great and fun sport.  Just remember to get the full benefit, you need a mountain bike that fits you and is almost like an extension of you on the trails.

Full Workout

As you’d expect, mountain biking is a sport that works your entire body.  While your leg muscles do get a workout, your entire body gets a true and amazing workout.

First off, your quadriceps, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and calf muscles get a thorough workout.  These are the muscles on the front and back of your legs that are powering the mountain bike.

What may be not as obvious is that your upper body muscles get a significant workout as well.  Your arms and shoulders are being used to balance and turn your bike.  Your core muscles of body, chest, abs, and lower back are constantly at work balancing the bike as well as helping to power and steer your bike.

Even beyond just biking, if you have to carry your bike uphill in order to do some downhill runs, you’ll know that this is a workout in itself.

Improved Health

Your heart and lungs go into overdrive taking in oxygen and distributing it to your muscles.  As your heart gets stronger, your risk of heart disease drops radically and it can actually solve some high blood pressure issues.

Your lungs also get a great workout pulling in enough oxygen to feed your muscles.    Mountain biker’ lungs, on average, take in 25% more oxygen than the average non-exerciser.  That’s 25% more whether at play or rest.

You also burn a lot of calories while biking. It makes for a great way to get rid of that belly fat and before you know it you’re in great shape and you had fun while doing it!

Improved Mood and Reduced Stress

All vigorous exercise releases endorphins.  Endorphins are naturally released by the body upon stress and they increase your feeling of well-being and being energized.  Endorphins reward you immediately for all your effort.

There is a secondary benefit, and that is increased serotonin production in the body.  Serotonin is sometimes dubbed the happy chemical because of its positive effects on wellbeing.  It is a neurotransmitter that helps you feel good both when exercising but also 24/7 and fights things like depression.

All of that helps you to feel better and reduce your stress levels naturally.

Improved Brain Power

Your brain benefits hugely from all of this exercise.  Studies have found that after even 30 minutes of activity, the increased oxygen to the blood increase both the capacity of speed of the brain.

This all makes sense because when you’re biking, you need to decide and react faster and your brain and muscles pump-up accordingly.

Low Impact Exercise

Generally speaking, mountain biking is classified as a low-impact way to exercise.  What this means is that compared to exercise like running, less stress is put on your joints.  That means less injuries and more enjoyment.

Because of this, biking is a prime way to exercise to lose weight and build up muscle mass with tons of healthy benefits.

Improved Coordination

Mountain biking is a great way to improve your coordination and balance.  All balance stems from your core muscles which get a hearty workout from mountain biking as you have to constantly work to maintain your balance.

With things so dynamic, you are constantly using your muscles to coordinate bike movements and balancing your bike by moving your muscles.  That practice tones your muscles and after awhile your brain and body work in better conjunction to dynamically keep you balanced in biking.  As a byproduct, your everyday movements will also be more coordinated and balanced.

Social Benefits

Social interaction has been known for a long time to improve moods and create happiness.  Biking with friends and family is a great way to share great experiences and have a positive social interaction.

If you don’t know anyone who wants to go biking, there are tons of clubs just for mountain biking so you can make new friends and enjoy a great sport all at the same time.

Enjoying Nature

Not only is mountain biking free, but it’s a great way to enjoy the serenity of mother nature.  Many cultures believe in the serenity of being away from the usual stress of everyday life and stepping off the beaten path.  Cross country biking is one of the best ways for low-impact trail riding for a nice easy ride.

Getting out on your bike on nature trails not only gives you a very different environment for a change of pace, but it alleviates you from all of the things that be stressful daily like traffic, work, financial situations, and much more.  While it’s great to let your mind wander, make sure you focus beforehand when you get together all of your biking gear to bring with you.  You do not want to get stranded with a flat tire or a broken chain and have no way to rig it until you can get home.

With it being powered by you, you are not incurring the costs of many sports and hobbies so the more you want to pedal, there are no ill effects.  All that and you out among all of the plants creating a boat load of fresh oxygen just for you.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed