How to Get the Most Out of Low Intensity Mountain Biking

Mountain biking, a popular and fast growing sport, can be pulse-pounding, life-risking thrills or simply a relaxing way to get farther out into the countryside than you would by hiking. Both ends are enjoyable, but with low intensity mountain biking the stakes are low and the terrain is not as harsh as it is often the case in high intensity mountain biking. There is also the fact that the bike used in low intensity mountain biking is more often than not, not as advanced as the bike used by pros and adrenaline junkies.

The joy of being outdoors can never be understated, but let’s look for now at the fitness and exercise aspects of mountain biking. So just how can you get the most out of low intensity mountain biking?


Find an ideal location
Take time to find the best location for biking; it could be a specific trail to follow or a field to traverse and explore. The choice of location should have minimal disturbance and obstacles, especially during the beginning period. This is important for beginners, because so much of their attention could be geared to cycling that they may miss out on potential danger. Further, a location that has numerous interruptions could slow down the pace at which you attain your desired level of speed and intensity maintenance. You can pick specific paths set aside for bikes to avoid encountering slow hikers, the typical source


Allow the body time to adapt

For beginners, it is highly advisable with any kind of exercise to only start with what your body can handle. This is with regard to pedal speed as well as the duration of biking. This in turn gives your body time to adapt to the riding routine. The thumb rule has always been — do not over stress your body! This is detrimental especially at the early stages, when fatigue could easily set in and discourage you. It further increases the risk of creating complications attributed to over-training which can be fatal to the health of cyclist.

Body discovering
This is an important phase and should set in immediately after your body starts to adapt to the cycling routine. It is important in the sense that as a cyclist, you would now be able to come up with the right intensity and speed for your fitness routine. This helps you to come up with a schedule to act as a guide. When you are aware of what the body can handle, it is easier to decide what you can maintain over time. It further helps you set a base and at the same time increases your physical strength which comes as a result of consistent riding.

Periodization
Just as with any other sport, cardiovascular health must be put in check even while biking. This cardiovascular term refers to the gradual increase of workload over a period of time. This basically calls for a schedule that combines low and higher workloads within a specified period of time. If you were simply riding your bike on country roads, your choices for high and low intensity exercise are limited,

Consider other fitness exercises as a supplement to cycling
A rider who is fit will realize the benefits of low intensity cycling quicker than one who is not fit. There are many exercises that can help keep you fit. The most ideal example is weight training which comes as a valuable prerequisite to cycling. The rationale being that it contributes to muscle endurance, vigor and at the same time boosts flexibility of the rider.

To the upper body, it gives strength and flexibility to the arms and shoulders which are vital while cycling. Don’t you need strong arms to help you continuously negotiate corners and obstacles while biking? You can try shoulder work, arms, abs and low back to give balance and endurance.


Discipline
A schedule to guide you on when to ride and when to do strength training is part of a healthy lifestyle. It is also important to be conscious of what you lift during strength training. The bottom line is always to strike a balance. Then complete the schedule with regular cycling to achieve the entire body muscular conditioning.

Rest and recovery period
You don’t really need a health expert or trainer to remind you this. Recovery periods and enough rest are crucial for the realization of the full benefits of low intensity mountain biking just as it is for any other sport. As tempting and addictive as it could be, take enough rest and allow your body enough time to recover.

Final words
Low intensity mountain biking is a sport like any other and can be an effective way to train, have fun while exploring different location while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The primary rule though is to always take proper care of your body.
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