Mountain biking is an ideal way to get fit in 2018
We’re rapidly approaching the end of the year and many people will be starting to identify their New Year’s resolutions. Of course, many of these resolutions will be focused on a fitter and healthier 2018. Camilla Hallam reveals why mountain biking stands as the ideal hobby to pick up in 2018.
Mountain biking is a low-impact type of exercise and the perfect starting point for people of all ages who are looking to get fit. It’s also easier on your joints than running.
Other benefits of mountain biking include the sociable aspect – you can ride with friends – and the chance to see some of the beauty of the natural world.
The best way to get started is to dive right in. Put it on your schedule, get on and go. It doesn’t even need to be a mammoth journey, the NHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, which equates to just over 20 minutes a day.
In Scotland, the favourable outdoors access code affords cyclists plenty of freedom to ride on local paths and trails. Perhaps there is something near you that can help you to build up your fitness a few times each week.
For longer and more determined MTB outings, head to one of the many mountain biking trail centres across the country. You can hire bikes at most trailheads, too. These centres grade their routes from easier greens and blues to more technical reds and blacks so you can choose the right one for your fitness and experience.
Some routes are not for the faint hearted. The most difficult are given an UCI category 1 status. As a result these are placed on the International downhill calendar. The 2017 HSBC UK National Downhill Series saw Charlie Hatton claim the elite men’s title under stiff competition, the question is whether Hatton will be able to retain his title over the 2018 season.
Beautiful scenery is a lot closer than you think and it’s incredible what you can find if you go exploring. For many though, mountain biking is the ideal way to explore new areas on your travels and Scotland jumps out as a superb destination.
Providing plenty for the amateur biker, Scotland also has superb challenges for those who want to to push themselves.
It’s not just mountain biking that Scotland has to offer though and there’s plenty of scenery to discover on your adventure, which can help to inspire you in your day-to-day working life and provide an escape from reality.
Sticking to a resolution
By far the most difficult part of a New Year’s resolution is sticking to what you’ve set out for yourself. It’s easy to identify what you want to change and improve upon but, when the going gets tough, it’s equally easy to slip back into your old ways.
Fortunately, there’s ways that you can help yourself to stick to your goals that have been identified by a psychologist: Define your goals, track them, have patience, publicise your goals, put it on your schedule and stop the “all or nothing thinking”.
Goals and tracking are crucial to help you get through the difficult periods, as it shows you where you were and how far you’ve come. Patience is also necessary as changes won’t happen overnight, whilst informing friends and family about your targets can help to hand you an extra push.
Scheduling is perhaps the most important of them all and it makes it so much easier to stick to your resolution as you have a set time and date to do what you have planned. Take it slowly though and don’t punish yourself after failure, it’s how we all learn.