Mountain Biking for Cardiovascular Exercise
Start mountain biking slowly and gradually increase its difficulty as you improve your strength and resistance.
Many people think that cardiovascular exercise is boring, and so they avoid it at the gym. Others don’t do it because they may think that it blocks them from building muscle mass. All of these people could benefit from mountain biking for cardiovascular exercise.
Mountain biking vs cardio at the gym
Aerobic exercises are an essential part of workouts if you want to have a healthy and strong heart. However, you might find it boring or you might not have the time for it and decide to frequently skip it.
One of the most common mistakes at the gym is to skip cardio exercises. Many believe that you cannot use it to build muscle mass and that it’s only good to lose weight.
Needless to say, static running or cycling in front of a wall or a mirror can be quite boring for most people. Also, we understand that after a tough workout, all you want to do is go home and rest. Thus doing cardio may not seem that important.
However, we do have good news for you! It turns out that there are many other ways to get that much needed cardio exercise, that are fun and beneficial. Mountain biking can be a great ally to achieve your weekly cardio quota.
What’s great about this sport, and how it’s different from machines at the gym, is that you get to be outside. Mountain biking can even help you to replace conventional transport modes such as the subway, bus, and car.
Benefits of mountain biking
One could say that mountain biking has great benefits without any contraindication. This sport is constantly attracting more followers and you don’t even need high elevations to practice it. And so, here are some of the benefits of practicing this sport:
1. Just an initial investment
To start out with this sport all you need to do is buy a bicycle, or borrow one, along with other protective gear such as a helmet, good shoes, and comfortable clothing. You won’t have to invest a lot, unlike expensive monthly payments at the gym.
You can also use your bicycle for more than just exercise. Commuting to work on your bike will save you money and time.
2. Burn fat
One of the main benefits of mountain biking is that it helps to burn fat and lose weight. This activity demands quite a lot of calories and energy, thus helping you lose those extra pounds.
3. Strong back and knees
This type of exercise is great for those of us who spend our days standing or sitting at a desk. If you are constantly suffering from back pain, you should try mountain biking to help strengthen your lumbar and dorsal vertebrae.
Additionally, it’s considered a better exercise than running since it has less impact on your joints. Also, you get to chose the pace at which you pedal, not to mention that the movement strengthens your tendons and muscles in your legs.
4. Heart health
Cardiovascular exercise is not only good for your lungs. As its name suggests it’s also great to exercise your heart. Cardio helps you to develop more resistance for other physical activities throughout your day.
When pedaling, you increase your circulation and exercise the heart, which keeps it healthy. Thus, you reduce the risk of heart disease.
And, of course, one of the most evident benefits of this sport is that when you practice it in the mountains and away from the pollution of the city, you’ll be breathing clean air.
We recommend practicing this sport in the park and countryside in order to enjoy the view and the clean air. As you practice this, you will most likely be exposed to sunlight, thus replenishing your body with vitamin D and strengthening the immune system.
And so, we recommend that for the first month you start out with four sessions of 90-minutes each week. Then for the second-month increase that to 120-minute sessions, but three times a week. And for the third month try four sessions of at least an hour and a half.
The gradient should also vary. We recommend you start out with a 60 percent slope, and gradually increase past 70 percent in the second month, reaching 90 percent gradient in the third month.