Health Benefits and Risks of Dirt Bike Riding
While dirt biking is a fun activity to engage in for recreation, there are several health benefits for riders as well. In this article, we will discuss some of these potential benefits, and assess whether they outweigh the potential risks associated with dirt bike riding.
Health Benefits of Dirt Bike Riding
- Muscle Strength. One of the most overlooked, yet inherent health benefits that are associated with dirt bike riding is increased muscle strength, as well as core strength. As you find yourself gripping onto the handlebars and feeling the need to exert greater control over your body, your strength will naturally increase accordingly as well. As you go over uneven terrain or around a bend, your core will engage to keep you balanced, which is an important aspect of fitness. You may experience a purposeful increase in strength as you perhaps become more motivated to go to the gym, or pursue other means of enhancing the amount of control you have over the dirt bike.
- Endurance. Another greatly overlooked health benefit associated with riding dirt bikes is increased stamina and endurance. This benefit comes as a result of using your muscles for a long period of time as you’re riding the bike. You also expend a great deal of energy while you’re riding the bike, which is another major contributing factor to the amount of endurance you must possess to ride the bike. As you spend more time riding, you’ll notice that your endurance goes way up.
- Mood Enhancer. Have you ever been bored riding a dirt bike? Neither have we. If you’re like us and most other normal individuals, you find dirt biking to be a thrilling and exhilarating activity that gets your blood pumping. This isn’t just fun that you’re having, it’s the release of endorphins and dopamine from a natural activity. This, in turn, has a positive effect on your brain chemistry, and results in you being a more well-adjusted individual in general. This positive effect is something that cannot be overlooked, but it usually is!
- Brain Stimulation. This is another inherent benefit of dirt biking that is often overlooked when exploring this topic. As you ride your dirt bike, you’ll be forced to use a significant amount of hand-eye coordination as well as general dexterity as you ride through different obstacles and terrains. Sometimes, you may find yourself in situations where you must make snap decisions about the direction that you wish to go, or the best way to maneuver, or ride through certain bumps, valleys, and obstacles. These activities, in turn, result in general stimulation of the brain that is healthy in the long-term. In the same way, it has been scientifically noted that playing video games may help improve hand-eye coordination and reaction times, dirt biking can have the same effect. However, there’s also the added benefit of performing a physical activity while riding the dirt bike itself.
Weighing the Risks
Above, we have listed a few of the important health benefits associated with riding dirt bikes. There is a plethora of additional ones that we simply do not have the time or space to list within this article. However, despite all of these benefits, there is still a substantial amount of risk that one incurs as they ride a dirt bike. Thus, in order to assess if there is an overall benefit to riding dirt bikes, one must weigh out all of the potential risks, the chances of incurring each specific risk and then, in light of this information, assess whether there is a net beneficial effect on one’s health when it comes to riding dirt bikes.
Not making sense?
Think about it like this: Eating ice cream actually has some beneficial health effects. The release of endorphins from enjoying the ice cream, to the increase in bile production, resulting in greater calorie burning as a result of the cold temperature of the ice cream are all benefits. However, the fact that there is such a high level of sugar, which is destructive to one’s body, in addition to the high amount of fat means that overall, ice cream is an unhealthy treat! Similarly, we are trying to assess whether dirt biking is a health activity to participate in.
One thing you should definitely consider is what protective gear you’ll need as a rider, and that is something we cover thoroughly in this article here. Although wearing the right gear isn’t exactly the same as the fitness you get from riding, they are definitely tied together. Here is a list of risks that you may incur if you aren’t properly prepared.
Dirt Biking Risks
- Breaking bones. This is probably one of the most imminent risks. There is a decent chance that you will fall off of your dirt bike at some point in time, and most of the time that you do, there’s always a risk of you breaking or displacing bones. However, despite the pain associated with this experience, this is rarely a risk that carries long-term consequences as a doctor’s visit accompanied with a splint and adequate rest is usually all that is needed in order to mend broken or fractured bones.
- Paralysis. This is probably one of the rarest consequences of riding dirt bikes. However, it has happened to riders before and thus, must be assessed and treated like the genuine risk that it is. There is obviously no cure for such an ailment, and in the unfortunate event that it does happen, one must hope that they are able to retain or regain some form of mobility.
- General cuts and bruises. Like the broken bones we mentioned in the first risk, this is a consequence that rarely has long-term effects. All cuts and bruises can more than likely be handled with a hefty dose of Neosporin, a band-aid, and a kiss from Grandma!
Assessing the risks that we listed above in concordance with the health benefits associated with riding dirt bikes, one must conclude that dirt biking is beneficial to one’s health overall. The risks that one incurs when riding dirt bikes are far from guaranteed, and the worst case scenario is one that rarely occurs. Conversely, the health benefits that one stands to gain from dirt biking are guaranteed. Thus, it is logical to conclude that the activity is beneficial to one’s health in spite of all of the potential consequences associated with the activity. So, have fun! Be safe while you’re dirt biking and reap the rewards and benefits from ripping up those trails!