Sports are activities done for recreational purposes, educational purposes, or exercise. Going to the gym, running along your street or a bike path in the morning, taking laps in the pool, joining your friends for a game of tennis.
Taking time out from your day to watch a YouTube tutorial video, going to classes, and taking a stroll with a couple of friends are all some of the ways to engage your muscles, grow them, keep fit and stay healthy.
Sports can also provide educational benefits. Participating in education increases the memory retainment function of the brain, helps individuals perform better in their day-to-day activities, and help kids at school with their academic activities.
Extreme sports activities help stimulate the body to produce endorphins and serotonin in more significant amounts. However, these sports activities are often done on rough terrains, are more rigorous, and are not without risks. Examples of these sports include:
- Mountain Biking
- Ice climbing
- BASE jumping
- Mountain climbing
- Cave diving
- Scuba diving, etc.
It is a sport that involves the surfer using a surfboard to ride on a moving wave of water.
Surfing takes a lot of balance and precision as the surfer has to withstand the pressure of the waves while remaining balanced on the board.
Cave diving is an underwater activity that can be done for educational purposes, carrying out scientific investigations and research, self-exploration, and as a search and rescue task to recover those who have been reported missing while in the cave.
Mountain climbing is a simple activity where people climb a mountain. However, due to the different locations and sizes of mountains, it includes hiking, crossing glaciers, and rock climbing.
Mountain climbing is also one of the extreme sports activities with the highest risk factor ranging from being buried by an avalanche of snow, and frostbites to death caused by faulty equipment.
BASE, meaning buildings, antennae, spans, and earth (places an individual can jump from), is a sports activity that involves the individual, with the aid of a parachute, jumping down from a fixed object. The individual hikes or climbs to the top of the fixed object and jumps to the ground, opening the parachute as he does so to ensure a safe and smooth landing.
It is known to be among the top five most dangerous sporting activities in the world.
Ice climbing involves climbing ice formations. This is usually done in the wintertime when waterfalls, cliffs, and other places that can be climbed are covered in ice. Weighing the risks of physical injuries caused during a fall, and the cold temperature, Ice climbing is categorized as a dangerous extreme sport.
Mountain Biking 101
Although there are many extreme sports out there that people engage in, mountain biking is a very popular and less dangerous extreme sport. Although it is not as popular as it was many years ago, many mountain bikers are still out there.
Mountain biking is a sport that involves biking or cycling off the road and over rough terrains. It requires speed and balance to navigate obstacles along the terrains and winding trails. It is also an excellent form of cardiovascular workout, improving your muscles and keeping your blood vessels well dilated and clear.
What is a Mountain Bike?
A mountain bike used for mountain biking is equipment built for durability and its ability to withstand rough off-road paths and trails.
Because of their sturdiness and other incorporated features, they are usually quite heavy. They have flat handlebars, wide, powerful knobby tires, durable wheels, powerful brakes for handles, steep climbs, and tricky descent trails.
They are also designed for comfort and reliability. Their features also enable them to travel over long distances, though not as far as the road bike would go. Types of mountain bikes include:
- Cross country bikes
- All-mountain bikes
- Trail bikes
- Downhill mountain bikes
- Freeride Mountain bikes
- Fat bikes
Mountain Biking For Beginners
Although mountain bikes are rugged machines for exploring terrains and would benefit more in the hands of an experienced mountaineer, there are mountain bikes that are good for beginners.
As a beginner, choosing the right mountain bike for you might be difficult because of the vast amount of options there are to choose from.
Factors that determine what bike to get include; the wheel size, comfortability, full-suspension or hardtail, and how much expanse of land or how far you intend to travel. As a beginner, it is important to have the following skills to be a good mountain biker.
Self-sufficiency: Before setting out, you must ensure that you have all the right gears, are armed with the right tools, and have taken every safety precaution step necessary. A self-sufficient biker can ride anywhere, to any distance knowing he or she is prepared for the risks that might occur.
Goal-oriented: Having a set goal in mind and a mindset ready to achieve it is the most important step of mountain biking. It helps you map out the distance you are ready to cover, the trails you want to take, why you want to go down that path, and what it would take to achieve it.
Good riding ability: Good riding ability and effective bike handling skills helps the biker to navigate rugged paths and overcome nature’s obstacles without much hassle.
Vigilance: You must have a good perception and awareness of your immediate environment. It will help the biker to prepare for any trouble that may arise and be able to make sound decisions to solve them.
Diversity: A good mountain biker is always ready to try put different terrains, and trails not sticking to a particular pathway that is known to them.
Mountain Bikes For Beginners
To choose your first mountain bike, there are certain things you must consider:
- Size: You want to ensure that the bike you get is the right fit for you
- The wheel size: Wide and powerful knobby tires gangling towards 29 inches and above are good for bigger and tougher trails, while smaller wheels are good for smashing trails.
- Choosing between hardtail or full suspension
- Appearance: Reliability, rather than appearance and aesthetics matters more in choosing your mountain bike.
- Budget size: Do not go for a bike that is beyond your allotted budget.
Types of mountain bikes for beginners include:
- Co-op cycles DRT-1.2
- Trek – Marlin 4
- Tommaso- Gran Sasso
- Giant ATX
- Mongoose Dolomite
- Schwinn Protocol
What mountain bike should I get for my height?
|Riders Height (In). The frame size of mountain bike (In)|
|4’ 10” – 5’ 2”. XS (small bikes) 13” – 14”|
|5’ 3” – 5’ 6”. S. (Small bikes) 15” – 16”|
|5’ 7” – 5’ 10”. M. (Medium bikes) 17” – 18”|
|5’ 11” – 6’ 1”. L. (Large bikes) 19” – 20”|
|6’ 2” – 6’ 4”. XL. (Extra large bikes) 21” – 22”|
|6’ 4” and above. XXL. ( Extra extra large bikes) 23” and above.|
Health Benefits of Mountain Climbing
- Mountain climbing is a cardio exercise that reduces the biker’s risk of getting heart-related diseases by increasing the heart’s fitness when larger muscles are used.
- Since mountain biking is done on a bike and involves lots of sitting, it puts less stress and pressure on your joints, unlike other aerobic exercises like running.
- Exercises boost and release serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, and serum that makes the biker happy, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety.
- When biking, all the muscles in the body are used, and thus an effective way of achieving a full-body workout.
- It also allows the biker to contact the core part of nature and appreciate all that it has to offer. What better way to embrace and fully appreciate nature than to walk amid its untamed paths? It also provides calmness to the biker, which is another way to prevent anxiety and depression.
Mountain biking is a good way to improve your total well-being. It also proves to be challenging, fun, and full of excitement. So, get your mountain bike, take the necessary precautions, get on that trail today, and experience all that nature has to offer.