There’s something very strange in the pursuit of seeking stress relief through means afforded to us in this age where computers are king, and life isn’t held in high regard unless it is jam-packed with activity and difficult to stomach. Somehow, in the chase for digital satisfaction we’ve lost analog enjoyments that bring peace. Something as simple as a walk in the woods or a mountain biking trip can be more effective than a week’s worth of social media posts about how stressed one may feel.
Much like those devices that we use to discuss rising stress levels, there’s always a concern for the cost of a new hobby. Mountain biking is much the same. Yet it doesn’t have to be as expensive as pro-level cyclists may lead you to believe. According to Mountain Bike Reviewed, finding affordable and reliable bikes under 300 dollars is a simple enough task. Paired with safety gear like helmets and pads, the total cost for your new hobby should be entirely manageable. No need to add the stress of finances on top of things!
How can biking help? As it turns out, exercising on a bike has plenty of tangible benefits.
1.Exercise Makes You Feel Better, Physically
It’s no small wonder that exercise leads to a boost in mood, no matter what form it takes. There’s a tangible link between exercise and mood triggered by various chemicals released during and after the exercise process that help elevate mood and regulate minor pain such as soreness caused by that exercise. If you’ve ever enjoyed a hard workout despite the fact that it left you a sore and disjointed mess, it’s quite possible your brain is helping you along the way.
2.Meditation Takes Many Forms
The rhythms and motions during cycling bring about a level of mindfulness and self-awareness like those in meditation.
Much like focusing your mind on a single idea or practicing consistent awareness, cycling and meditation both focus on the idea that taking your mind into a certain space by cutting out distractions and honing a laser-focus on specific aspects of your body or the world around you cuts out common stresses. It’s difficult to worry about your next paycheck when counting out biking mileage and focusing on your technique.
3.Hobbies Help Form Long-Term Happiness
While there is peace to be found in a daily routine that rarely deviates from the norm there’s little to no benefit in keeping yourself tied to your work without any sense of enjoyment to be found in your private life.
Television and cooking routines shouldn’t make up the only extracurricular activities you get up to. In fact, taking up a hobby can open up avenues for building new friendships and shaking you out of depressing routines that may be contributing to your stress.
The busier you stay with limited time dedicated to self-betterment, the higher your chances of getting locked into a routine that allows for little flexibility and stress relief. Take up a side endeavor before you lose yourself to the daily grind and your mood might perk up as a result.
4.Social Activities Make Outings More Meaningful
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going for a bike ride on your own. Sometimes there’s no reason to clutter up a perfectly still and quiet day with laughing and chattering as you blaze a path up the side of hills you’ve never seen before. But sometimes there’s benefits to be found in the camaraderie of sharing a hobby with like-minded individuals.
Socializing at work is easy enough yet might leave you feeling unfulfilled if none of your coworkers share your tastes. By sharp contrast, joining a mountain biking group almost guarantees everyone there is present. They enjoy the rides they plan to take.
It also adds up to a hobby that is easy to introduce family members to no matter their age. As long as you take things slow and careful, even the youngest of children can join in on a family bike ride. This encourages family unity and help decrease friction at home.
5.Fun Is Freeing
Sometimes, you just have to cut loose. Once the week wraps up and the kids are off for soccer practice or an arts club you have to take time to yourself that doesn’t involve pigging out on the couch. It’s engaging in the short run. But taking goals towards physical health while sharing enjoyment with fellow adults can do a lot to keep you going.
While there may not be a magical cure-all for the blues, adding mountain biking into your weekly routine just might shake you out of your malaise. It will definitely inject a little fun into your routine. In the end, fun may just be what knocks your stress out of your mind once and for all.
About the Author:
Amanda Wilks is a contributing author for Mountain Bike Reviewed, veteran MTB rider and sports activist. Her passion for mountain biking dates back to her childhood, when she would join her dad every weekend for a quick ride uphill. She is now addicted to the sport and she never misses a trail. Find out more about Amanda on Twitter.