Spring has sprung and you’re probably already thinking of ways to get in shape for the summer. The gym is boring, you hate running and there are no pools nearby where you can swim. So what now?
Riding a bike on a woodsy trail can be just what you are looking for.
Any physical activity is good for you; running has been particularly popular because of the famed “runner’s high.” But the state of euphoria that comes with reduced anxiety and a diminished ability to feel pain can be achieved when you do any activity that gets your blood flowing and triggers the release of endorphins.
“Mountain biking has the same effect,” Rebecca Rusch, one of the most recognized women in cross-country mountain biking and a world champion in multiple disciplines, says. “All kinds of cool things are happening [when you are riding],” she adds.
You are never bored
One of the many things Rusch likes the most about mountain biking is that the trail is always changing. No route is ever the same. The dirt’s texture is different and there can be more rocks, branches or leaves.
“The brain always stays engaged,” she says. You have to think about how to overcome all of the unpredictable obstacles that may come your way. “You’re thinking ‘I have to jump over the tracks; birds are flying by.’ I love that brain-body connection.”