Tagged: Health Benefits

The Health Benefits of Mountain Biking

 

Mountain Biking pic

Mountain Biking
Image: mountainbike.about.com

With almost 15 years of experience in emergency medical care, Dr. Michael Parsa serves as an associate professor specializing in emergency medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas. As a long-time El Paso resident, Dr. Michael Parsa takes advantage of the abundant outdoor opportunities the region has to offer, including mountain biking, which he’s been doing since his time in medical school.

Every year, approximately 40 million Americans will mountain bike at least once. As a challenging and fun way to exercise, the sport offers the typical cardiovascular benefits in addition to:

1. Reduced Stress and a better mood. The physical demands and the required focus of mountain biking cause the release of endorphins and serotonin, resulting in more energy and decreased stress.

2. Lower impact on joints. When compared to many other sports, mountain biking (a mostly non-load bearing activity) is less stressful to joints because the body is usually in a sitting position, reducing the chance of injury.

3. Improved muscle memory. A dynamic activity that requires constant adjustment by the rider, mountain biking strengthens neural pathways resulting in improved balance and coordination.

4. Improved Memory. A study by Illinois University reported that people who improved their cardiorespiratory fitness by just 5 percent by cycling performed 15 percent better on mental tests.

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