Does Dirt Bike Riding Help You Exercise?
While a motorized dirt bike does not offer you nearly the amount of cardiovascular exercise that a manual bike does, it is still a good source of exercise that can help you burn calories and stay physically fit. To complement your dirt bike riding habit, performing strengthening exercises off the bike will help improve your riding and overall fitness levels.
Dirt bike riding increases your heart rate in a way that is comparable to jogging or low level endurance exercise. If you wear a heart rate monitor while riding, you can see what degree of cardiovascular exercise you are experiencing while riding. An average ride should bring your heart rate into the mid-130s while a particularly strenuous ride, incorporating jumps, hills and other obstacles, can bring your heart rate into the mid-150s.
While dirt bike riding places you on a motorized device, a significant amount of body strength is still required to turn, lift and operate your dirt bike properly. Dirt bike riding uses your quadriceps, hamstrings and other leg muscles while riding over uneven terrain. Using your leg muscles while riding will help keep you balanced as you accelerate up and down hills and over jumps. In addition, arm strength is required to lift your handle bars when going off jumps and pushing your bars back down on your landing.
Cold Temperatures and Strong Winds
While riding a dirt bike at high speeds, the cold air being blown against your body will lower your body temperature. In order to restore your body to its normal temperature, your body will burn calories to heat itself up. In addition, strong winds without a wind screen provide a natural resistance against your chest, arms and legs. To keep your arms and legs in a proper position, you will have to push and fight against the wind, helping you exercise and burn calories.
While you might not be burning calories at a rapid rate while riding your dirt bike, the amount of continuous time spent on your dirt bike will help improve your cardiovascular health by improving your endurance. If an average ride on a dirt bike is an hour or more, you will be engaging the muscles in your legs and arms as well as increasing your heart rate continuously throughout the ride. Simply operating the pedals and hand gears for an hour or more will help you exercise.
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.