Mountain biking may be less risky than believed.

Mountain biking may be less risky than believed.

Mountain Biking: More Fun Than Fear – The Surprising Benefits and Safety of the Sport

Mountain Biking

If mountain biking is your exercise of choice, you’re in for a treat. A new study has just confirmed what enthusiasts have known for years – the benefits of this sport outweigh any associated risks. Say goodbye to the common misconception that mountain biking is always dangerous, injury-inducing, and meant only for daredevils seeking excitement.

Lead author Paul Braybrook, a doctoral candidate at Curtin University School of Nursing in Western Australia, shared his team’s findings after analyzing data from dozens of studies across the world. The study included over 220,000 injured mountain bikers and more than 17,000 injured hikers, aiming to identify and understand the types of injuries associated with these activities.

Contrary to popular belief, mountain bikers primarily reported injuries on their upper limbs consisting mainly of bruises, scratches, and mild cuts. On the other hand, hikers often suffered from leg and ankle injuries, including blisters and ankle sprains.

Despite the perception of mountain biking as an extreme sport, Braybrook emphasized that most reported injuries were of low severity. While ankle sprains were prevalent among hikers and arm fractures among mountain bikers, the importance of wearing a good quality helmet was highlighted, as one study reported that over half of the injured bikers suffered head injuries.

Over time, the standard for protective gear and equipment has significantly improved as the popularity of mountain biking and hiking has grown. This has undoubtedly contributed to reducing the risk of serious injury associated with these activities.

Braybrook noted that mountain biking has experienced a cultural shift away from its original extreme or radical style of riding seen decades ago in places like Colorado and California. The sport has become more accessible and diverse, allowing riders of different skill levels to enjoy it in their own way.

The benefits of mountain biking and hiking are not limited to the exhilarating experience they offer. Research has shown that they also lead to improvements in heart and vascular health, while helping to reduce high blood pressure, obesity, high blood cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

In light of these findings, Braybrook encourages people to take the opportunity to regularly explore their nearest trails for a ride or hike. These activities provide not only enjoyment but also significant fitness benefits, with the occasional scratch or bruise being the most likely outcome.

The study, published online on August 30, 2023, in PLOS ONE, has shed new light on the safety and advantages of mountain biking and hiking. It is time to dispel the myth that these activities are inherently risky and embrace the positive impact they can have on our physical and mental well-being.

Benefits of Walking

Walking: The Ultimate Health Maintenance

Walking is a simple yet effective exercise that can help you maintain your body weight and ward off many health risks. True or false?

Answer: True.

Walking deserves its reputation as a powerful tool for overall well-being. Apart from being easily accessible and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, walking provides a wide range of health benefits.

Regular walking has been linked to weight management, reducing the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. It also helps improve mental health, boosts mood, and enhances cognitive function.

Incorporating walking into your daily routine can be as easy as taking a stroll around the neighborhood, walking to work, or dedicating a few minutes to a brisk walk during your lunch break.

Take advantage of this low-impact exercise and make walking a part of your regular routine to enjoy its multitude of benefits.

To learn more about the benefits of physical activity, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Source: Curtin University, news release, Aug. 30, 2023