No matter your age, mountain biking might be what you need right now | Inquirer USA

Is mountain biking for you? Study reveals you reap more benefits than potential risks

This new research from Curtin University might be your go signal to pedal away and worry less about the risks
/ 11:53 PM September 03, 2023

Is mountain biking for you? Study reveals you reap more benefits than potential risks
Ready to take on some gnarly trails and work out your leg muscles? Don’t think twice, as a new study shows that the benefits of mountain biking outweigh its potential risks.

Researchers from Curtin University in Australia studied data across the globe encompassing more than 220,000 mountain bikers and 17,000 hikers with sustained injuries. Their goal? To identify the affected body areas and types of injuries as well as shed light on the proper medications.

“Despite the daredevil reputation of mountain biking, most reported injuries are, in fact, of low severity. While hikers tend to suffer blisters and ankle sprains, mountain bikers primarily get away with bruises, scratches, and mild cuts,” says lead author of the study Paul Braybrook from Curtin’s School of Nursing.

Importance of mountain biking

You can now breathe easy knowing that your mountain biking adventures are more about dirty smudges than disaster. Plus, don’t forget about the health perks—it improves heart health and “reduces the risks of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, obesity, and type 2 diabetes,” notes Braybrook.

Braybrook also emphasizes that the activities help stimulate economic activity “through tourism and the obvious health benefits.”

Now, what about safety? “As the popularity of both pursuits has increased, so too has the standard of trails, bikes, footwear and protective gear, reducing the risk of serious injury.”


Best mountain biking destinations in the USA

If that’s got your appetite for the trails going, let’s talk about some dreamy mountain biking destinations in the United States to kickstart your mountain biking journey.

  • Moab, Utah: Red rock paradise for biking aficionados
  • Sedona, Arizona: Epic trails with red rock landscapes
  • Bentonville, Arkansas: A burgeoning biking spot
  • Grand Valley, Colorado: A hub for mountain biking adventures
  • Crested Butte, Colorado: Picturesque trails and scenic beauty
  • Park City, Utah: A mountain biker’s dream
  • Pisgah, North Carolina: Challenging terrain and lush forests
  • Lake Tahoe: Gorgeous alpine Lewis and thrilling trails
  • Copper Harbor, Michigan: An Upper Peninsula gem
  • Kingdom Trails, Vermont: A New England mountain biking treasure

You may also like: What happens to your body during a heat wave


Too old for mountain biking? Nah

The answer is a resounding “no.” Mountain biking is a low-impact sport that can aid in maintaining balance and coordination even for older adults. Plus, the scenery can be relaxing and good for memory and cognitive health.

However, always practice safety first. It’s essential to choose the appropriate protective gear, especially for your head and hands. Hydration is vital for long rides. And don’t forget essentials like a tube patch kit, GPS tracker, and lights when you go into the wild.

If you’re starting mountain biking later in life, here are some tips:

  • Keep your muscles strong with strength training: never too late to build strength
  • Maintain a healthy diet and take supplements: Fuel your adventure
  • Get enough sleep: Rest up before your rides
  • Keep your potassium levels high: Bananas are your best bud

Bottom line, mountain cycling offers health benefits with minimal risks. So, this spring, don’t hesitate to hit the trails. Your veins, heart, and mental health will thank you for it.

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TAGS: mountains, outdoor activities, scientific research, Trending
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