Skip to content
Home » Fitness » What Are the Full Health Benefits of Mountain Biking?

What Are the Full Health Benefits of Mountain Biking?

This page contains affiliate links, and I may earn a commission if you use them. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

There are many health benefits to be reaped from mountain biking. These biking health benefits include weight loss and muscle strength.

The health benefits biking gives you are like the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do you see results quickly, but you’ll see them increasing over time. Mountain biking improves you mental and physical health in a number of ways.

1) Workout

Mountain biking is a great workout for the body! While there are many muscles that get a workout from mountain biking, the legs, thighs, and calves are worked out primarily from peddling.  Mountain biking is sometimes referred to as a whole body workout.

Balancing strengthens the abdominal and core muscles. Finally, climbing and maneuvering strengthens the chest and upper arms.

Mountain biking can burn lots of calories, up to 900 calories per hour in some more intensive riding situations. Couple that with the excellent exercise benefits and it’s a winning combination. Mountain biking benefits you with a full body workout every time you go out there.

2) Muscle Tone

Mountain biking primarily uses the muscles in the calves, thighs, as, glutes, and hips. Mountain bike riders will be able to notice more defined muscle and higher muscle endurance. Not only will these muscles be able to function longer, but they will look great too!

You are building both larger muscles but also muscles that can endure longer.  XC mountain biking is one of the types of biking that focuses more on endurance than short-term power.

Strengthening muscles is one of the best biking health benefits exercise like this gives you improved muscle fitness and helps with strength and posture.

3) Weight Loss

At just an average pace, a mountain biker burns over 150 calories in less than 20 minutes. Riding a mountain bike just a few times a week will drastically help with weight loss.  Just one 20-minute ride a day and you will lose on average 1/2 a pound a week. Things like belly fat melt away in weeks!

In addition to burning calories, your metabolic rate will increase so in all likelihood you will lose even more weight than that.

Low impact exercise like this makes losing weight a fun activity.

4) Stronger Heart

Mountain biking increases the strength of the heart by improving the blood flow and reducing stress. Stress is known to be a leading cause of heart attacks in the United States. So perhaps it is time to pick out a great mountain bike and go for a peaceful ride!

One of the first steps in heart health is to get active, and there are few ways more fun than getting out there on a bike.

Cardio exercise and you get to have fun while riding, with a bonus of fresh air and scenery. What a win!

5) Stronger Brain

Increased blood flow taking more oxygen to different parts of your body has other gains besides just a stronger heart.  The increased blood flow will also increase your brain’s functionality as well as increased alertness.

There are many mental health benefits and you’ll find you can think clearer and be able to focus better with regular riding.

6) Lifelong Hobby

Having a hobby allows you to release stress and focus on something not as mentally taxing. Science has shown that less stress leads to better sleep and easier control of your emotions. In addition to a lifelong hobby, there are some great people to meet and even befriend while biking!

Mountain Biking is a Win-Win Sport

Mountain biking is such a great sport and it works so many of your muscles that you can’t help but get into great shape while having fun.  The key is to enjoy it and and all of its great benefits.

Biking and cycling are great ways to improve your mind and body in many ways.

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