Mountain biking can be a great way to get the exercise that you need to burn your daily calories and it is something that lets you socialize with other people at the same time. The fact that this takes place in the fresh air of the great outdoors makes it all the better for you.
Mountain biking burns on average around 13 calories per minute with less calories being burned on flatter terrains and more calories being burned on more rugged terrains. This can add up to nearly 800 calories per hour, depending on your speed and the terrain.
But there are a few other factors that go into determining just how many calories you are burning during your mountain biking trips, and there are also a number of other health benefits that come with this sport. Knowing a bit more about both mountain biking and about calories can help you to see why this sport is so great of a way to help you burn off those calories.
What Affects The Rate That Mountain Biking Burns Calories?
Besides the terrain that you are going over, another factor that affects the number of calories that you are going to be burning is the speed that you are biking at. If you are going as fast as you can in a competitive mountain biking race, for example, you can burn well over 1,000 calories in an hour’s time.
However, if you are riding along with a moderate amount of effort over terrain that is not overly challenging, then you will likely be burning somewhere around 600 calories per hour. This is still better than road biking, even to and from work, which only burns between 450-500 calories in an hour because you are only going on a pretty much flat and even road.
Another important factor that plays a large part in how many calories you are going to burn in a ride is your current weight. This is actually great news if you are trying to lose some extra pounds, since the more you weigh the more calories you are going to burn while you are mountain biking.
Part of this is because you will be forced to pedal harder on your mountain bike in order to move ahead on the trail. The other main reason why this affects your calories is because people who have slighter or more muscled bodies simply have muscles that work more efficiently.
The other important factor that plays a large role in the amount of calories you burn while mountain biking is how far you are going at a stretch. The longer you can keep going, the more tired you will feel, and therefore the harder you will have to work in order to keep going forward. This is what makes long rides actually burn more calories than the same amount of time and the same distance would if you split it up into shorter rides.
When it comes to mountain biking, there are a number of different factors that go into trying to figure out how many calories you are burning. The first thing is your cadence – the rate at which the pedals on your bike make one complete revolution. While some degree of common sense might say that the faster your cadence is the faster you must be going, this is not always entirely accurate.
The reason why this is not accurate is because when you are going up a steep hill, for instance, your cadence will be slower and yet you will most assuredly be burning more energy. In the same way you will also be burning less energy when you are going downhill even if your cadence is faster. For this reason the elevation of the trail you are riding must also be taken into consideration.
Your weight and the weight of your bike must be added up to your calculation too, since these will both be pulling you back downhill and will make it require more effort to go uphill against them. Then too is the matter of your heart rate. If you are not very fit then you will be exerting yourself more and your heart will be beating faster than it will if you are physically fit.
In addition to this is the fact that both your heart and your lungs burn calories themselves when they have to work harder, though it is very hard to try to count these. Each of these things that I just listed affect the amount of calories that you spend while you are mountain biking, and each must be taken into consideration if you are going to try to make your own calculations as to how many calories you are burning while you are on your ride.
Why And How To Use Mountain Biking As Your Way To Burn Calories
Mountain biking is a great option for those looking to burn calories, and it burns much more calories than walking does. While it does not often burn as many calories as running does, if you are competing in a mountain biking race it may do so and you would definitely cover more ground and therefore get to see more scenery than you would if you were using running as your way of burning calories instead.
What also can make mountain biking better than running is that you have to buy a mountain bike in order to do it. While this will cost more money than running would as a hobby, it is because of this reason that you will feel that you have to at least go biking occasionally because of the investment that you made in order to get your money’s worth out of it.
As long as you are not trying to do any technical features or jumps on your mountain bike, and you are sticking to the cross country trails, mountain biking is actually a pretty safe sport to be involved in. Certainly there are the occasional accidents like there are with almost any sport or hobby, but for the amount of calories that are burned mountain biking is actually comparatively gentle on the joints compared to other things that burn the same amount of calories.
If you are new to mountain biking, or even if you do know how to but have only done so for short rides, it is very important that you start off slow. Do not start off day one and expect that you will do a 4 hour bike ride! Instead, test yourself out on a short trail first to see where your endurance level is at and just how far you can comfortably go before you get too worn out.
If you think that riding for that short trail maxed you out physically speaking, then ride that a few times before you move onto anything longer so that you can get a little used to it. Your goal should be to ride long enough to get really worn out, but you should never ride to the point where you are over-exhausted and can barely make it back to your vehicle.
Over-exhausting yourself will not only take you a while to recover from, but it is also really bad for your health. As you work at mountain biking you will gradually get a greater amount of endurance and will be able to go for longer and longer rides while riding over more difficult and hilly terrain.
One of the ways that you can get the most out of your mountain biking is to try to avoid doing any coasting. Though it is only natural to coast some after you have gotten your momentum going for you, coasting is not really burning calories which is what your goal is! So instead of coasting through those easy areas, just keep pedaling even when you don’t need to and try to race yourself if you must just so long as you keep up your pedaling.
The other way that you can get the most calories burned while you are mountain biking is to go on your ride as the first thing you do before you eat anything in the morning. Riding on an empty stomach may take a bit of getting used to – both mentally and physically – but it will force your body to burn any calories that might be left in it from the previous day.
Lastly, your muscles can get into a routine just as easily as your mind can. For this reason it is good to vary the trail you take on an irregular basis so that your muscles are challenged and are not allowed to memorize the trail with their muscle memory. Once your muscles learn the trail and get into the groove, they do not have to work as hard to follow their usual pattern and you therefore do not get to burn as many calories.
More About Calories And How Much You Should Be Burning
A calorie is essentially a unit of energy that your body either uses, or which it stores up for later use if it doesn’t need it right now. You get calories from almost everything that you eat and drink throughout the day and you burn off calories throughout the day as you move around, work, play, and you even use up a few while you are asleep just from the automatic things you do like breathing and your heart beating.
Different foods each have a different amount of calories that your body will get from eating them, just as different things you do each have a different amount of calories that they will burn, with the more strenuous activities burning off more calories than ones that are physically easier for you to do.
If the amount of calories you are burning off is equal to the amount that you are eating, then you will stay the same weight that you are now. However, if you are eating more than you are burning off, then you will gain weight because your body will store these calories up for you. On the other hand, if you are burning off more than you are eating, then you will officially be losing weight.
One single pound of excess weight can be comprised of anywhere around 3,500 calories. Therefore, in order to lose just one pound of weight you will have to burn off at least 3,500 calories more than what you are eating. More importantly, you have to keep burning at least the same amount of calories you eat in order to avoid gaining it back again and to keep it off!
Unfortunately this is why most people fail to stick with counting calories for very long, because they get tired and discouraged after a few months or so. Counting calories is truly a way of life, not something that you will really get results with and then you can stop doing after a while and still be able to keep what you got.
There are a number of different calorie counter apps each of which have their own way of estimating how many calories you are burning. But that is just what they are: estimates. Using some of the math, sometimes you can get a much more accurate idea of how many calories you are burning if you do it yourself.
One important thing to think of when trying to determine how much fat you have left that you want off is to consider how much muscle that you might have gained. This is something that someone who is trying to lose weight might not always thing about. The exercise that you are getting in order to burn calories will not help you get rid of your fat, but it is also building muscles.
Muscles will affect your weight, so simply because you are not seeing the scale in your bathroom go down when you step on it, you should realize that you may still be losing your fat and simply gaining that weight back in muscles.
This is why it is important to have other goals that you are looking to meet besides simply getting to your ideal weight. These other goals should be a certain waist size or something similar that is measured in inches and not in pounds. While muscles will affect your weight, they do not affect your circumference nearly as much as fat does.
A Few Of The Other Health Benefits That Come With Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is more than just a great way to burn off your extra calories, there are a number of other health benefits to participating in this sport. In addition to building up and exercising the muscles in your legs and in the other areas of your body, mountain biking will also exercise and build up the muscle that is your heart.
This helps your heart to stay healthy and strong, even as you get on in years if you keep up mountain biking. A strong heart is good for a number of areas of your health and especially for your circulation which can help prevent certain problems.
Another area of your health that mountain biking is good for is your lungs. This type of exercise can really get you out of breath and panting, but reaching the point of being out of breath and continuing this exercise works your lungs and eventually increases their capacity to hold air. The more air that your lungs can hold, the longer it will take for you to get out of breath – and the longer that you will be able to hold your breath for if you need to for any reason.
Besides being good for your health, mountain biking is also good for you socially. If you already agreed to go mountain biking with your friends at a certain time every week then you will be much more likely to get out of the house. This can be a great motivator for people who find they need a little bit more of a push to get themselves out of the door and around other people.
Finally, mountain biking is simply a great way to spend more time out of doors, which is one of the key things to do to help decrease SAD syndrome that affects so many people. There are several reasons why mountain biking helps with this seasonal depression.
Not only do the fresh air, exercise, and sun increase your “happy” hormones, but having something to do also decreases the amount of boredom you feel which is one of the symptoms that is often associated with SAD.
The exercise also helps increase your appetite which can be one of the other things affected and it also helps you to sleep well at night due to having exerted yourself during the day. All in all, there are very few things health-wise that mountain biking is not good for. So maybe it is time for you to get outside and see about that mountain bike.