12 Health Benefits Of Riding BMX

Riding your BMX we all know is so much fun. Going out by yourself, with friends or on a family day, you’ll always have a great time. Now besides being a perfect source of entertainment, riding BMX provides you with multiple health benefits.

BMX is a great exercise for your body and your mind. It boosts weight loss, builds muscle, improves heart and brain health, and helps with posture. It also provides several mental benefits, such as reducing stress, improving sleep, boosting the immune system, and stimulating creative thinking.

This article is meant both for the people that are looking for additional reasons to start riding BMX as well as for curious BMX riders who are wondering about the effects of our sport on their health.

As we know, the definition of health is very broad, and being healthy it’s not only about eating avocados or meditating for 10 minutes a day. Without getting too scientific, we all know it’s much more than that. Being healthy involves taking care of both your body and your mind. And just as if it was a scale, keeping the appropriate balance between the two is the key to maintaining good health.

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Most of the items we’ll go over below are not exclusive to BMX riding. For instance, road cycling beats BMX in regards to cardio benefits. On the other hand, BMX is more beneficial for muscle building than road cycling. However, all these items do apply for BMX riding and that’s what we’re looking for here.

So if you’re not riding BMX yet and you’re still looking for a very good reason to do it, we have some of that for you here.

[Disclaimer: I’m just an amateur BMX rider, not a health professional. All the info here was collected from different health and cycling articles and studies on the subject. In case of any doubt or for more in-depth info, seek professional advice.]

Physical Health Benefits Of Riding BMX

Riding BMX is a great way to keep fit. Whether if it’s racing or freestyle, BMX requires blood pumping, strength, balance, coordination, timing, etc. From every angle, you’re using your whole system and improving every aspect of your body.

  • Boosts weight loss. Depending on the intensity of your riding and your weight, cycling can burn between 250 and 450 in 30 minutes. It increases your metabolism while builds our muscle, which lowers body fat levels. The key here is intensity. The more intense the exercise, the more fat you’ll be burning. Cycling is in fact one of the best ways to start losing weight as it is a low impact activity. Unless you plan to hit the vert ramp at full speed the first time you jump on your BMX bike.
  • Builds muscles. When cycling, your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quads do the biggest part of the job, so your lower body will become stronger and grow bigger. In addition, you’ll be strengthening your abs and back muscles. However, riding BMX also adds work on your arms, as you’ll be pulling and pushing the handlebar when maneuvring your bike in the race track, street, park, bowl or pump track. This will hit your biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and back.
  • Good heart health. A study conducted by the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences discovered that commuting to work can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer by as much as 50%. A BMX is not the best bike for riding long distances. However, it is great for short to mid distances. You won’t be doing cardio as if you’d hit the road for 50 miles, but when it comes to cardio -and fat burning- a BMX bike is especially good for commuting since you’d probably be riding more intensively as with any other bike. Cycling also helps control cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels, even at an advanced age.
  • Improves brain health. Riding your bike automatically makes your blood flow through your body. our heart starts working and pumps blood to all your organs. Riding improves your blood flow to your brain by between 25% and 35%. Increased brain power translates into an overall better brain performance and decreased chances of brain diseases.
  • Improves balance, posture, and coordination. This is key in order to prevent a number of injuries, not necessarily related to riding. When you keep your bike upright and stabilize your body, you help to keep good posture, balance, and coordination. A correct posture also strengthens the lower back muscles.

Mental Health Benefits Of Riding BMX

Besides all the physical benefits we’ve just gone through, BMX riding provides a number of mental benefits. These are things that you don’t notice when you look in the mirror, but that you may recognize in every other aspect of your life.

  • Reduces stress. Do you commute on your BMX bike? No? Have you considered using your BMX instead of taking that 5-minutes ride on the metro or bus? Cycling is excellent for your mind, your mood, and your performance at the office or school. It makes you relax on your way back home, leaving behind all the workload. Plus, you’d avoid traffic jams.
  • Improves your sleep. Riding can help reduce the level of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that may negatively affect regenerative, deep sleep. Riding can also improve your sleep cycles as it positively affects brain serotonin. And the obvious, if your riding gets you exhausted, your chances of crashing your bed and have a long, great sleep improve drastically.
  • Boosts your immune system. Excercise makes immune cells more active, which means that they are better prepared for fighting infections. According to a study conducted b the University of North Carolina, those who ride for at least 30 minutes, five times a week, get sick about half the number of days as those who don’t exercise that much.
  • It makes you feel good. By choosing to jump on your bike instead of any other vehicle, you develop a sense of pride for all the good things you’re doing to your body, society, and the environment. It releases adrenaline and endorphins that keep you grinning throughout the day. This applies to riders of all ages, but can especially important for teenagers, as they often struggle with self-esteem issues.
  • Stimulates creative thinking. When you exercise outdoors and get fresh air you increase the oxygen intake, sending more oxygen to the brain, sparkling your neurons. This helps to improve your creativity, thus, you’re better at fixing issues and finding alternative solutions. Creative thinking is one of the best symptoms of a healthy mind.
  • Boosts productivity. Riding your bike makes you feel great. It increases dopamine in your brain. It adds to your overall happiness. It feeds your mind with positivity, which makes you more productive at work, at school, or at home. And you know everything’s better with a smile on your face 🙂
  • Builds confidence. Wherever you ride and whatever your level is, BMX is constantly challenging you. It’s one test after the other. And since it’s so much fun, you’ll go for the challenge every single time. The process of learning and beating obstacles and improve your riding boosts your self-esteem and your confidence.

Additional Benefits Of Riding BMX

  • Helps The Environment. We all know that the world’s pollution is a huge issue these days. Riding your bike reduces your own carbon footprint and helps taking care of our environment, which provides nothing less than the necessary conditions for us to have oxygen in our lungs and good land to sow. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is extremely important. This also generates a sense of well-being.
  • Improves your social life. BMX is meant to be social. At the track, the park or the street, it’s much better to ride with friends. That’s what ‘BMX lifestyle’ is about.
  • It doesn’t require a membership. If you have trouble creating the habit of hitting the gym, then forget about it and grab your bike instead. Of course, you can do both, gym and ride. That’s even better. Most of the pros do it.
  • Great way to have family time. It can be hard to find a moment during the week to share together between all the family members. Weekends it probably the best time for that, and much better if it’s having fun rolling around. BMX bikes are among the cheapest bikes in the market, plus, since they’re smaller than the rest, they’re perfect for any park.

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